Nineteen-year-old Weston Zolck recently broke the Guinness World Record for most clays shot in 12 hours by a five-person team. For the qualifying course to apply for the CZ-sponsored team, Weston shot 50 out of 50 – which is not unusual for him. He looks back at his rise to shooting success, and says, “When I was younger, I played every contact sport there was … that’s why I like shooting the most. I’ve never been an aggressive person, so being out there on a football field and trying to push someone over is something I didn’t like, and being able to be competitive without being aggressive is what I really like about the shooting sports.” We think you’ll be impressed by this young rising shooting star.
NRA Family: When people ask you what you do, what do you say? Elevator-speech length.
Weston Zolck: I am a college student/athlete who is majoring in business and competes in shotgun shooting sports. I advise them that I am an avid outdoorsman that loves to hunt, bowfish and trap. When I’m not going to school, I work laying commercial flooring. [Editor's note: Weston may be too modest to tell us, but we have it on very good authority that he is on a full-ride scholarship, majoring in business, at Iowa Western Community College, with a 4.0 GPA. He competes on the shotgun team, and also helps with the coaching.]
NRA Family: What’s your history in the shooting sports, and how did you get to where you are today?
Weston Zolck: I grew up in a family that enjoyed hunting. I started going deer hunting with my father and sitting in his deer blind when I was six years old. I first started with a Daisy Red Ryder and got pretty good with it. I amazed my father and friends when I could pick off flying grasshoppers with the BB gun. When I was in the sixth grade, I signed up for youth trap shooting and this is when I started shooting shotguns. Prior to this, I shot rifles and bows. I first started shooting with a youth-model, 20-gauge shotgun and quickly learned that I needed a better gun to shoot trap. I then went to my grandfather’s Remington 1100 and became pretty good with it. Eventually, I would transition to an over/under CZ, then to a Beretta DT10 Combo that I have used for several years.
My parents and friends have helped me to be able to compete all over the Midwest in shotgun shooting sports. I have received more than 200 awards from numerous different events in trap, skeet and sporting clays. Some of my biggest accomplishments include the following:
- Winning the Junior Division Skeet Title at the Nebraska State Skeet Shoot in 2016
- Winning the 2017 U.S. Open Junior Division Championship in the Doubles and Singles Championship events
- Winning the 2017 event championship in the Kolar Doubles at the Grand American at the World Shooting Complex
- Making ATA All American Team honors in the Junior Division (2018)
- Making the Nebraska State Sporting Clays All State Team honors (2018)
NRA Family: Do you consider yourself to be an ambassador for the shooting sports? Why?
Weston Zolck: I don’t think of myself as an ambassador of shotgun shooting sports, but I am probably perceived by many in my local community as one. I love to compete and teach others about the sport. I feel that there is always more to learn and a person should always want to get better. I always try to represent the sport, my school and my family in a positive manner. I know that when I’m competing, there are a lot of people watching and that I want to present a good image for the sport.
NRA Family: Have you encouraged or inspired others whom you know to try shooting?
Weston Zolck: I enjoy helping coach youth shooters, teammates and other competitors. I think that kids have watched me compete and it inspires them to know that hard work and dedication can bring you some great rewards. Since getting into shotgun shooting sports, I have been able to get family and friends involved in the sport. Since I started shotgun-shooting sports, my family has taken an active role in it; they have created a local youth shotgun shooting sports team. My family, along with many generous people in our community, have built a local shotgun shooting range that allows more people to get involved in shotgun shooting sports.
NRA Family: What does the future hold for you?
Weston Zolck: I don’t know what my future may hold; I hope it revolves around hunting and shotgun shooting sports. My focus right now is competing at the college level and obtaining my business degree.
NRA Family: Is there a particular discipline in shooting sports that you’d like to improve in?
Weston Zolck: I love all shooting sports, but the one that takes the most time to learn and I’m always trying to improve on is sporting clays.
NRA Family: Usually, young people get tremendous support from family members … what’s your story?
Weston Zolck: If it wasn’t for the support of my family, I wouldn’t be where I am today. As a youth shooter, you’re completely dependent on your parents to allow you to compete. Youth competitors can’t just go out and buy a shotgun or the shotgun shells. I am very grateful to have the family that would allow me to compete and chase my dreams.
NRA Family: What else do you like to do when you’re not training or shooting?
Weston Zolck: I love the outdoors, hunting and bowfishing. I also enjoy welding and working my 1965 Ford F-100 that I have been restoring.
NRA Family: How can people follow you through social media?
Weston Zolck: I’m not a big social media person, but I do have an Instagram account and my username is @wzolck.