FORTVILLE

Surrounded by loved ones, Brownstown Central junior Jackson Lahrman refreshed the results page on his smartphone every 60 seconds.

The final group to go out and shoot the sporting clays was running behind.

The throwing machines were malfunctioning, and the shooters were stranded.

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Sitting in fourth place going into Day 2 at the Indiana Gun Club, Lahrman knew he had a chance to win the National Sporting Clays Association’s 2017 Indiana Sporting Clays Championship for Class D.

He would just need to have a strong outing and also get some help from his opponents.

After scoring an 84 on day two to finish with a combined score of 161, all Lahrman could do was wait.

When the final score popped up on his device, Lahrman jumped up with elation, and his family and friends followed.

On July 30, the state championship crown was his. Lahrman had edged Steven Daniels by three points to win his first state shoot.

Everything came together at a rapid pace for Lahrman.

He has engaged in shotgun tournaments for just one year and shot clays for two years.

“You go all season shooting sporting clays,” Lahrman said. “It was my first full year of doing tournaments, and I was doing well, so someone suggested I go for state.”

Since it was his first state-level shoot — wanting to get the nerves out — Lahrman attended the preliminary state shoot July 28.

He shocked the prelim competition.

“I shot the preliminary on Friday, scoring 90 of 100,” Lahrman said. “I won my class there and was really excited. On Saturday, I don’t know if I was cocky or nervous. I shot a 77. I was really mad, but on Sunday, I made a comeback by shooting an 84 to end up winning it.”

While he has always loved shooting, he never considered competing until his father, Marc Lahrman, and great-uncle, Dick Hamilton, got him interested.

“Dad was a police officer, so I started shooting at 8 or 9,” Lahrman said. “He said we could try some shotgun stuff and throw some targets up, so I bought a $20 thrower and started doing it in the yard.

“I was pretty decent there, and then found out about how my mom’s uncle does it at clubs. He said I should come with them, and I tried it and really liked it. Him and all his buddies kind of took me in. I was going every two or three weeks, and now, I’m going once or twice a week.”

Hamilton has allowed Jackson to use his Kemen KM4 over-under double-barrel shotgun for the trap competitions.

On the weekends, Lahrman practices at gun clubs in Georgetown and Mitchell with Hamilton and his dad.

Once the cash started coming in, Lahrman realized he had a talent.

He said he’s looking at potentially shooting in college.

“I’ve always been a shooter and gun lover,” Lahrman said. “I started competing, making money at it, and there’s also a lot of pride. Hopefully, I can get some money for it for college. I’ve always liked competing. I’ve always been an athlete and love sports. This allows me to combine to things I love — competing and guns.”

Lahrman has bumped up to Class C competition in part of his recent successes. He said he’s looking at tourneys in Michigan, Kentucky and Indianapolis coming up.

While he has a heavy schedule with school and tennis right now, Lahrman said he still plans on shooting in tournaments as much as he can.

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Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.