DETERMINATION sums up Adam Hirchfield.
His Victorian State Championship triumph on Sunday was almost 25 years in the making.
Hirchfield, a Gippsland native who shoots in the AA grade, started clay target shooting as a fresh-faced 16-year-old.
His four-shot triumph at Laang was the result of a lifetime's dedication to the precision sport.
"I'm thrilled, I'm thrilled. I've been up there plenty of times but come up short," Hirchfield, who shot a score of 188, told The Standard.
"It was really good to have a weekend where I was able to mentally hold it together for as long as I needed to.
"I am extremely humbled to get the victory because there were some quality shooters here.
"The first of many, hopefully."
Hirchfield, a self-employed fencing contractor, held off Mick Kierl (184) and John Younger (184) to clinch the result.
He shot two perfect round scores to emerge with the title.
Hirchfield, an Australian shooter, revealed an upbeat attitude was a deciding factor in his performance.
"I just worked on my attitude, while shooting, tried to keep a positive attitude throughout the whole competition," he said.
"When you're not going well, you need to keep going along and make sure you're doing the important fundamentals well.
"You're always your own worst enemy. If doubt pops in and you change what you're doing it all goes pear shaped real quick."
In other grades, Karl Kivinen (167) took out the A grade courtesy of a shoot off. He defeated Aaron Brooks and Dominic Branca.
Robert Tombolato was the B grade champion, overcoming Mark Eland and Allen White.
Just one shot separated John Younger (184) from nearest rival John Leech (183) in the seniors division, while Ron Rhook chimed in third overall.
Edward Magee saluted as the best veteran of the day, while Maxwell Kavanagh rose above all others in the masters class.
Tasha Bellinger was the best ladies shooter, notching a score of 159 to comfortably see off April Thompson.
Luke Willemsen saluted in a thrilling junior competition, while Benjamin Studham was the superior sub-junior, winning by 21 shots.
The C grade division was decided by four shots, with Paul Smidt scoring first place.
Laang Sporting Shooters of Australia club secretary Wayne Moore declared the state titles a raging success.
He praised the club's small army of volunteers and standard of competition despite trying conditions.
"We're very lucky to have a good team here," he said.
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