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TAG team aims high in Traer

February 1, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

The Traer Air Gun (TAG) Team has brought Olympic-style air-pistol shooting to north Tama County for nearly 60 participants over its five-year existence and still is growing.

Pete Holden hosts TAG in the Memorial Building on Thursday and Sunday, weather and event permitting for anyone from Dysart, Gladbrook, Tama, Reinbeck and Traer. Air pistols are more precise and slow compared to regular arms, and a difficult sport in which no Olympian has ever posted a perfect score. Shooters aim at paper targets and focus on accuracy through an electronic tracking program at practices.

"People who go out for this sport like the challenge it provides," Holden said. "It's an exceedingly difficult, individual sport. I feel they want to go out and improve themselves."

Article Photos

Delanie Taylor, Amber Fink and Matt Whannel aim during a Sunday practice in the Traer Memorial Building for the Traer Air Gun team.

TAG has three members out for Olympic trials currently, including Matt Whannel, Megan Carty and Grace Asmussen ranked in the nation. Amber Fink is the current state champion, which qualifies her to participate in an Olympic trial in April.

"The biggest thing with shooting is concentration, being intently focused on what they're doing," Holden said. "Anyone can take the mental part of shooting away. You can control what's going on in your mind.

All participants are all trained heavily in gun safety. In all five years of TAG's existence, there has never been an accident or disqualificationa, according to Holden. Anyone interested in joining the group are encouraged to contact Holden. Adults are also encouraged to sign up. There is no charge for the group.



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