D.J. Mello has been shooting competitively for about five years, but he did something this weekend that often takes a lot of longer he shot a perfect 200 at Sunday's Western Zone ATA shoot in Newman.
As he got closer to 200, Mello said he became nervous.
"I was sweating. It messes with your head, gets you off guard, messes with your focus," he said. "When you sweat more, your cheek sticks to the stock, so when I would shoot, my cheek would stick."
Add to that another 292 out of 300 in the Newman shoot and 198 out of 200 at the Central Zone shoot in Tulare (good enough to make the Central Zone team which will shoot at the ATA state shoot in Kingsburg), and Mello has hit 690 of 700 targets in the last week.
He usually shoots about 400 targets each week in practice, working on his technique and aim.
"If I miss, I try to figure out what went wrong. Same thing in competition," Mello said. "I shoot over the target sometimes, and behind it. I don't follow through my swing sometimes and shoot behind it. Or I shoot too fast."
Mello also shot with the Los Banos Tigers Trap Team the week before in Martinez, taking third place in varsity. Mark Barcellos and Jared Crist went 1 and 2 in JV, Jack Gerstenberg was third in intermediate-advanced, Justin Cozzi and Jared Collier went second and third in intermediate-entry and Jake Pafford won the rookie competition.