By Sam Watson

LEONGATHA target shooter Dan Croatto claimed his fourth state championship in the 50m Prone event at the Melbourne International Shooting Club in Fishermans Bend last month.

After six rounds, the veteran finished with a score of 617.3, holding off 2021 Olympian Elise Collier by less than a point.

“I shot quickly, she shot slowly, and the wind picked up which threw her, the weather worked for me rather than against me,” Croatto said.

In previous years, Croatto has travelled to Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Tasmania to compete in nationals but this year he only has to go as far as Shepparton.

That event will take place this weekend and Croatto will be hoping to go one better than his second-place finish in 2016.

Croatto admitted that at age 51 and after over 35 years of shooting, his eyesight is slowly starting to fail him, so his competitive shooting career may be drawing to an end.

But his passion for the sport his played since he was 15 certainly is not fading away.

“When you’re hopeless at all sports and you find one that your good at and you’re able compete at a good level, it’s pretty special.”