2020 Grand American Highlights

The 2020 “Covid” Grand American is in the books. As many of you are aware, the pandemic crisis caused the state of Illinois to close the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta this year. In early June, the ATA opted to relocate the 2020 Grand American to the MTA home grounds in Linn Creek, Missouri.

As a result of the major efforts of both the ATA and the MTA, the 2020 Grand American was conducted the first two weeks of August and ran very smoothly.

Most shooters I spoke with were VERY APPRECIATIVE of the efforts of these two organizations, working together, to see that the membership had a place to contest the 2020 Grand American. However, by no means was it like Sparta. The MTA grounds offered limited camping space, which is why many shooters did not attend, and the parking was a challenge at times, too. Participation was off approximately 40-45% from last year, with the most decrease coming from both the Western and Eastern Zones.

Also, the ATA Hall of Fame celebration was postponed until next year. However, shooters who did attend seemed to have a GREAT time. Also, the weather was generally sunny, hot and humid during the week with little to no breeze during the day to affect the targets. These conditions resulted in optimum shooting conditions for the week and some fantastic scores as well.

Most notable were the accomplishments of 19-year-old Dagen Voigtman, from Nebraska, who became the first shooter in Grand American history to break a perfect 400x400 in the High All Around (H-A-A) event on the Championship targets. Young Dagen also won the High-Over-All with a score of 985x1000. He also was high gun in the Grand American Handicap with the lone 100x100 from the 27, bringing his total Grand American Championship Rings to three for this tournament! See Dagen's interview on page 10.

Below are some more highlights from the 2020 Grand American. SS

Dagen Voigtman wins the HAA, HOA and Grand American Handicap
by Kim Kodl

Q: WOW! Congratulations on becoming the first shooter in Grand American history to break a perfect 400x400 in the High All Around event on the Championship targets! You also won the HOA with a score of 985x1000, and you were the high gun on the Grand American Handicap with the lone 100x100 from the 27-yard line.
How were you able to accomplish these amazing feats?
A: With a lot of practice and dedication to the sport.
Q: Were you nervous at any point?
A: Yes, I started to get nervous once I got to the last ten shots in the handicap.
Q: How did you get interested in shooting? What gun did you start with?
A: I got interested in shooting trap at age 10 when I would watch my older brothers shoot. I started shooting the next year when I was 11, so I have been shooting for eight years now. I started shooting trap with a Browning BT-99.
Q: Have you only shot trap or have you dabbled in other disciplines such as sporting clays or skeet?
A: I have really only shot trap every year. I might shoot a round or two of sporting clays but not much at all.
Q: Do you have a trapshooting coach or idol?
A: I don't have a coach now, but in the first year or two, I had a little bit of coaching along the way. Richard Marshall, Jr. is my idol because he is an excellent shot and a great and professional guy.
Q: Tell us about your shotgun. What brand and model do you use for singles, doubles and handicap? Do you use choke tubes?
A: I now shoot a Krieghoff K-80 Trap Special. For singles and handicap, I shoot a 34" Unsingle and use an Improved Modified choke for singles and a Full for the handicaps. For doubles, I have a 30" double barrel, and I use a Modified for the first shot and an Improved Modified for the second shot.
Q: What brand ammunition and type of shells do you use for singles, doubles and handicap?
A: I use Winchester AA. For singles and doubles, I use the same shell, and that is light 8s. For handicaps, I shoot the Winchester AA Superhandicaps 7½s.
Q: Do you have any superstitions or idiosyncrasies?  
A: I always make sure to wear the same hat (an Under Armour black cap), and I always wear a vest.
Q: How often do you practice trap and how often do you compete during the year?
A: I like to try and practice at least two to three times a week when I am not competing. I compete all summer long. I usually start somewhere in May and then end at the Grand in August.
Q: How do you train and what is your pre-tournament routine, including diet?
A: Regarding training, I do not run or lift weights. I just try to watch what I eat, so I don't gain weight when I'm competing, so it doesn't mess with how the gun fits.   
Q: How many Grands have you competed in, and how did you celebrate your victories at the Grand this year?
A: I have been to the Grand American six times since 2015. I didn't do anything special to celebrate. I just spent time with family.
Q: What is your hometown and your home gun club?
A: I live in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, and do most of my practicing at Izaak Walton, which is in Bennet, Nebraska.
Q: What college do you attend and what year are you? Do you compete on a college trapshooting team?
A: I am going to the University of Nebraska, Omaha (UNO). I'm 19 years old and just started as a freshman this year. I am going to major in accounting. UNO doesn't have a college shooting team.
Q: What is your choice for ear protection? Regarding shooting glasses, do you change lenses for various backgrounds or weather conditions?
A: I use molded ear protection. For the color of my lenses, I mainly use a medium-orange color, and if it's not as bright out, I use a regular orange or a light orange. I have other colors I might wear, but 99% of the time, it is one of those three shades of orange.
Q: What are your hobbies or activities outside of shooting? Favorite car?
A: I don't really have any other hobbies outside of trapshooting. My favorite car would have to be a Ford Raptor.
Q: What do you enjoy most about trapshooting?
A: I enjoy all the wonderful and nice people you get to shoot with and talk to.
Q: What are the biggest challenges in trapshooting?
A: Personally, I feel like the mental game is the biggest challenge in trapshooting.
Q: What are your ultimate goals in trapshooting?
A: My ultimate goal is to keep shooting and try to improve every year.

2020 Grand American Trophy List
Events 15-17, 19-24, HAA & HOA Champion, Runner-Up and Third

Event 15 • Winchester AA Class Singles Championship
Class AAA Champion        Joseph O. Charnigo        200
Class AAA Runner-Up        Scott J. Obenchain        200       
Class AAA Third            Dave Bicknell            200                        

Event 16 • President Mike Herman Handicap by Perazzi
Event Champion            Mitchell G. Germany        100
Event Runner-Up        Aaron S. Willoughby          99
Event Third                Donald E. Schaffer, Jr.      98

Event 17 • Wenig Doubles Class Championship
Class AAA Champion    Joseph O. Charnigo        100
Class AAA Runner-Up    Sean Hawley            100
Class AAA Third        Zachari Nannini            100

Event 19 • Challenger Ammunition Handicap
Event Champion            Aidan Master            98
Event Runner-Up        Jason Goudreau            98
Event Third                Keith Ditto                98

Event 20 • Kubota Doubles
Event Champion        Patrick J. Hopson        100    
Event Runner-Up    Joseph O. Charnigo        100
Event Third            Harlan Campbell, Jr.        100   

Event 21 • ATA World Clay Target Championship by Browning
Event Champion        Hunter Seymore            200        
Event Runner-Up    Foster W. Bartholow        200
Event Third            Darrell A. Farr            200

Event 22 • ATA World Doubles Championship by Federal
Event Champion        Zeke S. Yeager            100
Event Runner-Up    Henry E. Winn            100
Event Third            Joseph O. Charnigo        100

Event 23 • Caesar Guerini Preliminary Handicap
Event Champion        Breydon Paxson        100
Event Runner-Up    Kevin L. Morrison      99
Event Third            Ian K. Darroch          98

Event 24 • Remington Grand American Handicap
Event Champion        Dagen J. Voigtman        100
Event Runner-Up    Shane Taylor              99
Event Third            Nick S. Galata              99

ATA World HAA Champion by E-Z-GO
Event Champion        Dagen J. Voigtman        400
Event Runner-Up    Zachari Nannini            394
Event Third            Keith Ditto                394   

ATA HOA by Prize Possessions - 1000 Targets Grand
Event Champion        Dagen J. Voigtman        985
Event Runner-Up    Keith Ditto                980
Event Third            Joseph O. Charnigo        979

ATA 2500 HOA Championship by White Flyer
Event Champion        Dagen J. Voigtman        2,453
Event Runner-Up    Chase M. Horton            2,440
Event Third            Tim M. Reed            2,435

Dean Townsend attended his first Grand American in August of 1968. In August 2017, he attended his 50th Grand American. He shot his first Grand American in 1970 at 12 years of age. He currently holds five state titles in his home state of Ohio and has been named to over 20 All-Ohio state teams. He was inducted into the OSTA Hall of Fame in 2019. He has also served two terms as a member of the Ohio Trapshooting Board of Directors, as well as two years as Ohio ATA delegate; been a member of eight different ATA All-American teams including, Sub-Jr, Men’s second team and both 1st and 2nd Sub-vet teams. In 1993 he was appointed to the ATA Central Handicap Committee by then President Jim Bradford. He served in that position for 17 years until 2010. At that time, he was asked to serve as Chairman of that committee, a position he currently holds. He is also a six-year member of the ATA rules committee. During the past four years, he has been a member of Blaser-USA's pro-staff, assisting with customer service issues and helping shooters set up demo guns at several major tournaments around the country. He retired after 35 years of teaching high school and college chemistry in May of 2015.

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