CHESTERTOWN, Md. — After several years as a successful club sport, the Washington College trap and skeet team (WCTS) is in its first season as the College's 18th varsity sport. WCTS will compete for the first time as a varsity sport this Saturday.
WCTS returns the bulk of last year's team which turned in an impressive showing at the sport's annual collegiate national championship event, the ACUI Collegiate Clay Target Championships. As a team, WCTS finished 18th overall in the Division 3 standings at last year's championships, excelling in trap with a tied-for-eighth-place performance in American Trap and a 13th-place finish in International Trap. In addition, the team turned in its best-ever place finishes in both American Trap and American Skeet.
Leading the way among the team's returners are senior captains Danielle Murdock (Terryville, Conn./St. Paul Catholic) and Brendan Demas (Fairhaven, Md./Southern). Murdock, the team's reigning MVP, tied for eighth among women across all divisions in combined trap at last year's ACUI Championships and placed 42nd in the women's HOA standings. She placed 10th in Class A America Trap and 17th in Class A International Trap. Demas was 19th in Class B America Trap and 23rd in Class B American Skeet.
Jordan Ukishima (Frederick, Md./Urbana) and Savannah Ross (Lewes, Del./Sussex Tech) are the team's two juniors. Ukishima was 18th in Class B American Skeet, 21st in Class B International Skeet, and 26th in Class B Sporting Clays at last year's ACUI Championships. Ross was 21st in Class C American Skeet.
Sophomore Nathaniel Neuland (Thurmont, Md./Tuscarora) had an impressive debut performance at the ACUI Championships, finishing as the national runner-up in Class B American Trap and also placing ninth in Class B International Skeet and 18th in Class B International Trap. Classmate Camerin Caraballo (Bloomingdale, N.J./Morris Knolls) was named the team's Most Improved after finishing 20th in Class B American Trap and 22nd in Class B International Trap.
Three freshmen are on this year's inaugural varsity roster - Sammy DiLoreto (Harleysville, Pa./Dock Mennonite Academy), Will Sears (St. Leonard, Md./Calvert), and Lanning Tyrrel (Lavina, Mont./Lavina). Four-year volleyball standout Kaitlyn Marino (Redding, Conn./Joel Barlow) is another newcomer.
Head coach Doug Pfaff and associate head coach Aaron Amick, both of whom also led WCTS during its club team days, are joined by assistants Alan Whiting, Jesse Downey, and Eric Amick.
The team is currently scheduled to shoot at three intercollegiate competitions this fall, beginning with the University of Maryland's Terrapin Classic. George Mason's Eastern Regional Championships follow on October 6th and 7th. WCTS will then host the Battle of the Bay on October 20th and 21st before competing at the ACUI Upper East Coast Conference Championships in Glenn Dale, Md., November 10th and 11th. That competition will determine which classes the team's student-athletes will compete in at the 2019 ACUI Collegiate Clay Target Championships, to be held in San Antonio, Texas, March 27th-30th.