Lokke positions herself in eighth after first leg of Olympic Trials

By on Oct. 31, 2019 in Trap & Skeet

Now a graduate student and coach at Concordia University, Erin Lokke continues to make a name for herself on both the national and international stages. Her involvement in shooting sports has taken her to places like Abu Dhabi, Colorado Springs, San Antonio, Kerville, Texas, and of course Oak Creek Sporting Club in Brainard, Neb. Wherever she’s gone, she’s shown an ability to turn heads.

At this point, Lokke has established herself as one of the top shooters in the entire United States. Her reaction to hitting 226 out of 250 targets in skeet at the Olympic Trials? Says Lokke, “In the world of shooting sports that’s pretty tight.”

Lokke accomplished that feat back in September when Part One of the Shotgun Olympic Trials played out at Hill Country Shooting Sports Center in Kerville. Lokke moved up to eighth place among the best female shooters in the U.S. Meanwhile, three fellow Bulldogs also made their way to the Olympic Trials: senior Monica Dale, junior Emma Van Donselaar and freshman Blake Greckel. Van Donselaar (shot 213) placed as the junior bronze medalist.

The total of 226 for Lokke represented a nine-target improvement over the previous year. Lokke and Bulldog shooting sports head coach Scott Moniot still believe the best is yet to come, but where she’s at right now is pretty special.

“It means quite a bit,” Lokke said. “I walked in ranked 11th and I walked out ranked eighth. I was only nine targets away from finishing in the final. I’ve never been that close. Being that close was a thrill. I could see my name going up the leaderboard and everyone’s looking at me.”

Lokke figures to have more eyeballs on her as she keeps raising her own standards. She will return for the final leg of the Olympic Trials in early March in Tucson, Ariz. In preparation for the next stage, Lokke plans to visit the range in Tucson in December and get away from chilly Nebraska air. A native Minnesotan, Lokke is used to finding ways to beat the cold, like using indoor dry mounts and lasers to simulate the real thing.

Scores from part one of the Olympic Trials will be combined with scores from part two to determine qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Lokke is a longshot to reach that level at this point, but this experience will be something for her to build upon as her career continues.

“You train your heart out at home and you have to go in knowing you’re prepared and you’re confident in everything that you’ve done,” Lokke said. “All your training leads up to four days. Usually you get about two days to relax. When you’re traveling to Texas or Arizona from Nebraska it’s not an easy trip. Everything is just pure confidence and knowing what you’re doing is correct.”

All the while, Lokke is working towards her MBA and assisting Moniot in coaching a shooting sports program that is clearly on the rise. She’s had to manage her time appropriately. Said Lokke, “It’s an eye opener. I’m learning a lot with the leadership side and coaching side.”

Given her level of training and the large-scale events she’s experienced, Lokke would seem to be exactly the person an aspiring competitive shooter would want to learn from. There will be a lot more to come for Lokke, whose story still has plenty of blank pages in it.

“We’re going to train our guts out,” Lokke said. “I’m only nine targets away from the sixth-place position. Statistically I still have a chance of making it into the finals. I have to go in knowing I’m breaking every single target. I can’t mess up or I’ll virtually be out of it.”

Concordia shooting sports will wrap up the fall portion of its schedule this Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 2-3) at the ACUI Midwest Championship in Grand Island, Neb. Shooting sports is not governed by the NAIA or NCAA, so Lokke remains eligible to represent the Bulldogs at collegiate events.

U.S. Olympic Trials Skeet Top 10 (after Part One)

1. Austen Smith (Keller, Texas) – 243
2. Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Fla.) – 241
3. Samantha Simonton (Gainesville, Ga.) – 240
4. Kimberly Rhode (Monrovia, Calif.) – 239
5. Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, La.) - 236
5. Amber English (Colorado Springs, Colo.) - 236
7. Haley Dunn (Eddyville, Iowa) – 235
8. Erin Lokke (Minnesota) – 226
9. Jacenta Jacob (Rochester, Mich.) – 223
10. Katie Jacob (Rochester, Mich.) – 221
10. Gracin Anderson (Englewood, Tenn.) - 221