The regular season is over for the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League, and shooters from Alexandria will head into the state championship fresh off rolling through their conference season.
Programs are placed in conferences based on their participation numbers, ranging from the teams with the fewest shooters competing in Class 1A all the way up to the teams with the most participants shooting at the Class 9A level.
Alexandria competed in Class 7A, Conference 2 this season against seven other programs. They dominated the field, finishing with 51,091 total points. Big Lake was a distant second with 44,055.
Alexandria's Jeremy Knight was the best male shooter and top one overall in the conference after busting an average of 24.60 clays out of a possible 25 round through the five weeks.
Alexandria's depth shined throughout the entire boys lineup with six individuals finishing among the top 10 by average. Nicolas Witt was second (24.20). Erik Knight (23.80) tied for fourth with Reed Fox of Champlin Park. Adam Oehlenschlager was sixth at 23.50, Ryan Forster tied for seventh (23.40) and Devin Dummer was ninth with a 23.30 average.
Kallista Roers and her younger sister, Ellie Roers, were the top two female shooters in the conference. Kallista busted an average of 24 clays per round of 25, while Ellie had a 22.20 average. Maddie Swenson was seventh in the conference at 20.00, while Katheryn Hanson was 12th at 19.20.
The trap shooting league announced its all-state shooters recently, an honor given to the kids who finish top 100 in the state by average, regardless of gender. Alexandria had four who earned that distinction in Jeremy Knight (sixth overall), Witt (24th), Kallista Roers (43rd) and Erik Knight (80th). All four qualified for the individual state tournament at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake on June 21 by finishing in the top 100 through the regular season.
Championship coming to Alexandria June 10-18
Team spots for the state tournament in Prior Lake are now up for grabs when more than 330 teams and 8,300 student athletes come to Alexandria from June 10-18 to compete at the 2019 trap shooting championship.
All nine class sizes get their own day to shoot, starting with the Class 1A teams on June 10 and being wrapped up with the Class 9A teams shooting on June 18. The top 40 teams overall throughout the nine days will qualify for the state tournament on June 21 at the Minneapolis Gun Club, where a state champion will be crowned. Team scores at the championship in Alexandria are comprised by the top five individual scores from each program.
• Alexandria will shoot on June 16 with its first round of 50 starting at 8:30 a.m. on trap 6B at the Alexandria Shooting Park. Each team shoots two rounds of 50, with the second round starting immediately after the final team at each trap has completed session one.
• The Minnewaska trap team had two shooters finish among the top 100 in the league to finish with all-state honors.
Carson Tauber was 24th overall with a 24.20 average, while Brady Drewes was 43rd at 24.00. Minnewaska finished second (8,653) to Paynesville (10,939.5) in its Class 2A, Conference 4 field and will shoot its first round at the championship on June 11 at 11 a.m. from trap 6B.
• The Osakis trap team finished sixth in its Class 2A, Conference 7 field. They were led by Tyler Young (12th in conference, 21.70 average) on the boys side and Jaden Klimek (seventh, 18.10) and Lynnea Maus (eighth, 16.80) on the girls side.
Osakis will shoot at 8:30 a.m. at the championship on June 11 from trap 8A.
• The Brandon-Evansville trap team was second in the final Class 3A, Conference 2 standings with 12,734.5 total points. Frazee-Vergas won that league title with 13,476.5 points.
Brandon-Evansville was led by Chris Vinson (fourth in conference, 23.40), Riley Bitzan (fifth, 22.70), Hunter Koep (seventh, 22.50) and Trevor Peterson (eighth, 22.40) on the boys side and Alena Shores on the girls side. Shores was the top female shooter in the conference with a 21.30 average, while teammate Katrina Buchholz was 10th (16.20).
Brandon-Evansville shoots at the championship on June 12 at 8:30 a.m. from trap 7A.
• The Ashby trap team will shoot at 8:30 a.m. from trap 6A at the championship on June 12. Ashby shot in Class 3A, Conference 5 and finished third (14,256.50) during the regular season, while Pillager (17,991.50) won that conference.
Austin Schroeder (fifth, 23.10), Benton Stadsvold (eighth, 22.90) and Dakota Ecker (10th, 22.70) led the Ashby boys in the regular season, while Elli Johnsrud (ninth, 18.00) and Courtney Koefod (12th, 17.50) led the way for the girls.
• Parkers Prairie finished its regular season by taking ninth in Class 6A, Conference 1. Dawson Smith (16th, 23.10) and Kolby Becker (20th, 23.00) were the top shooters for their team.
Parkers Prairie will shoot at the championship on June 15 from trap 8A starting at 8:30 a.m.