Article pulled from UT Southern Athletic Site – Follow link to see actual article.
PULASKI, Tenn. – Two former clay target standouts for the former Martin Methodist College, now the University of Tennessee Southern, will compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Women’s Trap beginning July 24. Madelynn Bernau will represent USA Shooting, while Waleska Soto will represent her home country on the Guatemalan National team.
Bernau, a 2020 graduate of Martin Methodist College, will compete in the Women’s Shotgun events, both Women’s Trap and Women’s Mixed Trap. The Mixed Team Trap event, consisting of one male and one female, will be making their Olympic debut in 2020. A two-time National Champion at MMC, Bernau made her international shooting debut in 2018, after earning a spot on the USA Shooting Team. Maddy bypassed the normal progression of making the U.S. National Team after competing at the junior national level, and went straight to securing a spot on the United States Olympic Trap Team in March 2020.
“To be able to represent my country is a dream come true,” said Bernau. “I grew up watching other successful athletes get to do it, and it made me wonder if I would ever get to do it one day. It’s hard to believe that I am now someone who people look up to and that definitely comes with a lot of pressure. But, it’s the pressure that pushes me to work harder and make sure I’m always representing myself and my country to the best of my ability.”
Soto, a 2014 graduate of Martin Methodist College, competed on Martin Methodist College’s inaugural clay target team for two seasons. Originally, a part of the softball team at MMC and a member of the Guatemalan national softball team, Soto joined clay target after the removal of softball from the Olympics. Soto accomplished her dream of becoming an Olympian when she finished 4th at the 2019 Pan American Games to secure her spot on the Guatemalan team for Tokyo.
“For me, it’s a great honor to represent my country worldwide, and I am very proud to put the name of my country and it’s colors at the top. And, I want to use this space to thank Martin Methodist College and the athletic department for all the support in my professional athletic career. I am very proud to represent the now UT Southern in the Tokyo Olympics.”
In addition, UT Southern head coach Chad Whittenburg is attending the Tokyo Olympics as an official Delegation member as the Chairman and President of USA Shooting.
“Competing for your country is an extraordinary achievement for any athlete in their career,” said Whittenburg, who coached both Olympians. “The pinnacle of that accomplishment is competing in the Olympics. For this University to have two such clay target team alumni competing in Tokyo is remarkable! We are so extremely proud of Wale and Maddy in their continued success after graduating. On top of that, I am humbled as well the represent Team USA as the Shooting Federation President and join the USA delegation in Tokyo and watch these and other athletes.”
The Tokyo Olympics will begin on Friday, July 23rd, with the shooting competitions to begin on July 24th.