Dean and Pete Brus are no strangers to making pistol shooting history, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise the father-son duo etched their names into the record books again at the 2017 International Shooting Sport Federation/Pistol Australia (ISSF/PA) National Championships at Cessnock.
The pair became the first father-son duo to feature on all five of NSW’s PA teams at the national titles earlier this month, where they dominated, winning three gold medals and two silvers.
Pete, 20, also became the youngest shooter to win an individual PA crown. He claimed the WA1500 Revolver gong, his first national title.
Those achievements come after the duo became the first father-son team to shoot at, and win, a world championship in 2015.
They shot a new world record in Sweden that year too.
“We’re very pleased, that’s my first ever national championship and we shot well team wise too,” Pete explained.
“Dad and I were on all five teams, that’s never happened for a father and son to be on all PA state teams.”
The duo helped their NSW teams to gold medals in the WA1500 Revolver, Service Pistol and Service Pistol Unrestricted divisions and took silver in the WA1500 Pistol and Service Pistol 25 Yard matches.
Then came the individual accolades.
On top of his WA1500 Revolver win, Pete also claimed a silver medal in the WA1500 Pistol match and won three more bronze medals as well.
“I shot a bit above average in the WA1500 Revolver, a 1488 out of 1500. That was one point off a national record,” Pete, who held the No.1 ranking in the country heading in, said.
Pete’s win earned him the right to represent Australia at this year’s world titles in Germany, his second cap.
He’ll shoot alongside Tasmania’s Chris Banfield.
“We’ll be the youngest Australian team to shoot in the 1500,” Brus said, more history made.
Dean claimed the Service Pistol Unrestricted national title and also finished second in the Service Pistol match, but didn’t shoot to his usual lofty standards in the WA1500 revolver and just missed national selection.
While disappointed on that front he said he couldn’t be prouder of his son and Banfield, whom he coaches as well.
“I snuck through in the service pistol unrestricted (but) didn’t shoot as well as I would’ve liked in the 1500,” he said.
“I would’ve dearly loved to have made the Australian team (but) it’s a real pigeon day for me anyway, being able to puff my chest out having both my premier students in representing Australia.
“I had the Orange (and District Pistol Club) president’s cap on too. We had Lara Cowling and Max Wicks at nationals too.
“Lara finished fifth in the 25-metre Women’s Pistol, which is a great achievement as well, and was in the NSW team for the [10m Women’s Air Pistol] too.”
She shot alongside Sue Guy and Sascha Kroopin there, helping NSW to a bronze medal.
“I’m really pleased for the Orange club’s results and achievements,” Dean, who may end up heading to Germany in a coaching role, said.
“I’ll have a good talk to Chris and Peter, early indications are they’d like me to go over as a coach.
“Having a bit of old school and new school interaction I think is paramount, so we’ll see how we go there.”