Mackenzie Lam of Juneau was one of two Alaska shooters to earn gold at the USA YESS National Junior Clay Target Championships last week in San Antonio, Texas.
The Juneau Trap Team youngster, one of seven shooters on Team Alaska, placed first in Olympic Trap and Olympic Skeet to add to her three silvers and one bronze while competing in the middle-school girls division. Lam was both the the lone Alaskan hailing from outside the Matanuska-Susitna Valley on this year’s team. Wasilla’s Shelby Nevada also won gold.
Lam has won 17 medals in her three years of competing at the national championships, and won six last year alongside teammates Brice Norton, Renee Winn and Garret Hermann.
“I was happy I had more competition this year than last year,” Lam said in an interview.
Over 100 shooters took aim in six different shooting events at the four-day competition: international skeet, international trap, American skeet, American trap, sporting clays and 5-stand. Lam competed with up to six other ladies in the intermediate ladies division, reserved for girls shooters in Grades 6, 7 and 8.
In all but one event, the 5-stand, Lam finished directly in front or behind Kamea Herrara of Washington.
“It was kind of intense,” Lam said of squaring off with her friend.
Herrera shot 293 of 350 to place first in the HOA, which is the combined score across the skeet, trap, sporting clays and 5-stand events. Lam shot 255 of 350 over those events to take second.
USAYESS is youth program that stands for USA Youth Education in Shooting Sports.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.