TOKYO — Derrick Mein of Paola is a long way from home this week, representing the United States in the Olympic Summer Games.

He is a member of just the second men’s trap shooting team to represent the United States in the Olympic Games in the past 12 years.

“Getting the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Games is definitely a dream come true,” Mein said. “It is such an amazing honor to get to represent the best people in the world.

“There is nothing better than competing against the best, except when you beat the best,” he said. “I always look forward to the challenge.”

Mein is a member of the U.S. Shooting Team. He won the NSCA Sporting Clay Nationals in 2020. He is part of an eight-member team representing the United States shotgun team. The team consists of two in men’s trap, two in women’s trap, two in men’s skeet and two in women’s skeet.

He is competing in men’s trap and mixed team trap events. In the mixed team competition, Mein will be teamed with a women’s trap team member, and the scores are combined.

Men’s trap is scheduled to take place July 28 and 29, with mixed team trap taking place July 31.

Mein captured his 14th state title at the 2021 Powder Creek Kansas Sporting Clays Championship held June 24 to 27 in Lenexa. He was competing with Team Federal.

“It is always good to win, but because the disciplines of sport clays and Olympic trap are so different, there is not a lot of momentum to carry over,” he said.

Mein was raised on a small farm near Walnut, Kan., where he went quail and deer hunting and grew to love the outdoors with his parents Rick and Kay.

He took up clay shooting when he was 8. He joined a clay shooting league and local club and continued to work on his competitive shooting skills, eventually earning a scholarship to Lindenwood University. Mein later transferred to Kansas State University and graduated in 2008 with a degree in animal science.

While at Kansas State, Mein won the ACUI Collegiate Clay Target Championship. The tournament included international trap, international skeet, American skeet, American trap and sporting clays. He has also competed in Helice shooting.

He managed Cardinal Center Sporting Clays in Ohio and took an opportunity closer to home, managing the Powder Creek Shooting Park in Lenexa.

Mein has competed in three World Cups and has quite the shooting sports resume.

Mein was the ATA Grand American AAA High All-Around Champion in 2020. He was runner-up in the 2020 NSSA world skeet 28-gauge competition. He captured the NSCA national championship in 2020 and 2017.

He was the ICTSF World English Sporting Champion in 2019. Mein won the World All-Around Championship and was the US FITASC Grand Champion in 2018. He was the NSCA National Sub Gauge All-Around Champion in 2016 and the Nad Al Sheba Desert Shooting Champion.

He is a 14-time Kansas State Champion, 15-time NSCA All-American and 16-time USA Sporting Clays Team Member.

Derrick and Diana Mein live just outside of Paola with their daughter, Rylie.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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