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Cards fall just short of state

Andrew Rentschler shot a 98 out of 100 at the championship last Tuesday to lead Alexandria to a sixth-place finish in the team standings. (Lowell Anderson/Echo Press)1 / 5
Alexandria’s Sam Goetsch takes aim during the championship at the Alexandria Shooting Park last Tuesday afternoon. (Lowell Anderson/Echo Press)2 / 5
Tyler Floding3 / 5
Caleb Petty4 / 5
Austin Yutrzenka5 / 5

The Alexandria High School trap shooting team finished sixth in the 5A team standings at the 2014 Minnesota State High School Clay Target League’s 2014 championship held at the Alexandria Shooting Park last week.

The Cardinals and the rest of the 5A field wrapped up the five-day event with the top three teams out of 16 programs earning the right to compete at the state tournament this past weekend. Alexandria had high hopes of being one of those teams, but came up a little short with a score of 476.

“It was a little disappointing, but we shot well,” head coach Scott Green said. “I think overall if I went through the stats right, we ended up around 11th overall in the whole state. Last year, we were

10th and with this many more teams, I don’t think we did worse. I think we shot a 466 last year and this year we shot a 476, so we picked up 10 targets, which was a lot. We came close.”

It takes shooters being almost perfect to win at a championship like this. New Prague won the Class 5A competition with a team score of 485 out of 500. Wayzata also shot a 485 and took second based on a tiebreaker that was determined by each team’s high gun. Lakeville South rounded out the three teams that advanced to state with a 480.

Nick Prahl of Shakopee was perfect in winning the overall high gun individually. He busted all 100 targets. He was one of four varsity shooters to bust all of their clays at the championship.

Alexandria had some shooters who came close. Andrew Rentschler finished as the high gun for the Cardinals after powdering 98 out of 100. That was good for a tie for fifth in the varsity high gun among males. Teammate Sam Goetsch was right behind him with a 97 and in a tie for eighth.

The team points consisted of the top five shooters for each varsity team. Taylor Esbjornsson and Tyler Floding each shot a 95, while Michael Barten and Alex Olson each shot 91s for Alexandria’s final score. The Cardinals’ Kimberly Wilkins was the seventh highest female with a 90. Her sister, Kerri Wilkins, finished 10th in the 5A female high gun standings with an 87.

“We were close but it just didn’t happen on Tuesday,” Green said of the run at the state tournament. “We needed just one more shooter or a couple more targets here and there, and it would have made all the difference in the world and we would have been right where we wanted to be. Nevertheless, that’s the way it goes. That’s a sporting event.”


TEAM STANDINGS – 1. New Prague – 485 (High gun – 99); 2. Wayzata – 485 (High gun 98); 3. Lakeville South – 480; 4. Hastings – 478; 5. Rogers – 478; 6. Alexandria – 476; 7. Stillwater – 476; 8. Blaine – 471; 9. Lakeville North – 471; 10. Northfield – 470; 11. Eastview – 467; 12. Shakopee – 465; 13. Chaska-Chanhassen – 463; 14. Simley-Inver Grove Heights –

441; 15. Burnsville – 440; 16. Rosemount – 437

ALEXANDRIA VARSITY SCORES – Kimberly Wilkins – 90; Kerri Wilkins – 87; Andrew Rentschler – 98; Sam Goetsch – 97; Taylor Esbjornsson – 95; Tyler Floding – 95; Michael Barten – 91; Alex Olson – 91; Caleb Petty – 89; Ashton Toft – 89; Austin Yutrzenka – 89; Jack Steffl – 88; Owen

Weisel – 88; Micah Christenson – 87; Cody Parkin – 87; Aaron Telander – 87; Nick Berglin – 86; Mitchell Paulson – 86; John Steen – 85; Josh Weisel – 85; Noah Berglin – 84; Hunter Rebrovich – 84; Jeremy Knight – 83; Hunter Kusmak – 83; Gavin Greengo – 82; Aaron Steidl – 80; Kyle Elfering – 76; Adam Zimmerman – 76; Dakota Schlangen – 70;

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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