August 6, 2007 at 6:28 PM CDT - Updated July 1 at 10:26 AM
Heat Takes Toll at Trapshooting Competition By: Mike Shain
SPARTA, Ill. - The Heartland could be one of the most dangerous places to be this week, if you're a clay pigeon or one of the people shooting at them.
The temperature at the World Trapshooting Championship in Sparta reached 99 degree Fahrenheit Monday.
Marksmen and women gave it their best shot to take home the title and beat the heat
About 7500 competitors and up to 90,000 spectators are enduring heat and humidity in Sparta for the the Grand American, the world's largest trapshooting event.
The first two days go to young people like the team from Pinckneyville High School. They were among the opening day shooters.
"I didn't concentrate on some of them and the two I missed. I took my head up off the gun and just hoped I hit them," said Nolan Carney of Pinckneyville.
Nolan doesn't blame the heat but a teammate says it's blistering hot on the shooting line.
"Oh, it's hot. It's really pretty bad. What do you do to keep cool? Oh, drink a lot of water, get in the shade," said Jessie Peradato of Pinckneyville.
Heat took some people down on opening day. Emergency crews on hand say as many as eight people were treated for exposure to the blistering temperatures and one was sent to a hospital.
"We have ambulance crews on the property that are staffed here. We have 1600 acres. There's a tent venting area with a cooling center and an ambulance service. Then over on the vender's side, the west side of the property, we also have another area that's inside with ceiling fans on and two air conditioning units (that an ambulance service) had donated for the event to help provide retreat for the people and the kids and the constituents shooting in the events this week," said Chris Hespen, the manager of the World Shooting Complex.
The event will bring in tens of thousands of people over the next two weeks and temperatures are expected at or around 100 degrees all this week.