SOUTH-west teenager Penny Smith has etched her name in the history books, becoming the second female to win the Victorian Clay Target Association’s schools student final.
Smith, 17, shot 57/60 to edge out Lilydale High School’s Jack Wallace by one target in Bendigo on Monday.
The King’s College year 11 student survived a marathon shoot-off.
“It is something you hope to win, but because it is such hard competition you don’t expect it to come true,” she said.
“There were four of us in a shoot-off and we shot in blocks of five.
“After the first five targets, two dropped out.
“Myself and Jack Wallace shot another 30 targets.
“I missed my sixth target and Jack missed his sixth as well, so we had to keep going.
“We’d shoot five and stop, shoot five and stop. There was a lot of concentration.”
Smith has competed at the schools state event for the past four years.
She said her older brother Andrew encouraged her to try clay target shooting.
“It is something you have to persevere with and keep practising,” she said.
“You have good and bad days.
“It’s psychological as well. You have to keep your concentration going.”
Smith, who thanked her family, friends, school and the South-West Academy of Sport, wants to represent Australia in the discipline at the Olympics.
Terang College won the teams event in Bendigo with a score of 141/175.
Jesse Hoare, James Aitken, Fletcher Whiteley, Dave Langley and James Hayden represented the Terang outfit.
Aitken said the team was surprised to win after it came down to a shoot-off.
“We might have went in too confident,” he said.
“In the first event we didn’t shoot as good as we expected and in the second event we shot better.”
Warrnambool’s Isaiah Harris was third in the senior boys’ category with 27/30, while Warrnambool College’s Louella Foster was third in the junior girls’ section with 22/30.
The winners received free nominations to the Victorian Clay Target Association state carnival at Echuca in November.