Conference champions are crowned. The 100 shooters in Minnesota by average have solidified their spots at the state tournament, and more than 8,100 students are ready to come to the Alexandria Shooting Park over the course of nine days.
The Minnesota State High School Clay Target League will hosts teams from 308 schools from June 11-19 for the 2018 Trap Shooting Championship.
"Just seven years ago the Championship took just one day for 200 athletes" Jim Sable, President of the MSHSCTL, said in a release. "Now over 30,000 students, parents, coaches, and spectators are drawn to Alexandria for nine days. It's amazing to think that the league is not only one of the largest sports in Minnesota, but the MSHSCTL Trap Shooting Championship is also the largest shooting event in the world."
The Trap Shooting Championship in Alexandria is where teams will be competing for the right to compete in the state tournament at the Minneapolis Gun Club on June 22. The top 100 individuals by average also compete for a championship on June 23, and local shooters will be well represented there.
Alexandria alone will have seven students among those top 100 shooters by average. Jeremy Knight leads that group as one of the best shooters in the state. His 24.5 average is good for fourth best out of 11,930 athletes in the league.
Alexandria's Adam Oehlenschlager is tied for 11th best with a 24.3 out of a possible 25. Erik Knight (24.2), Nicolas Witt (23.9), Owen Weisel (23.9), Adam Zimmerman (23.8) and CJ Schlosser (23.7) are also among the top 100.
Alexandria won the Class 7A, Conference 3 championship through the five-week regular season schedule. The Cardinals had 53,113.5 points, well in front of second-place Marshall at 41,863.5.
In addition to the Alexandria shooters who finished in the top 100, the Cardinals also had the six best female shooters in the conference. Kallista Roers was first with a 23.1 average, while Miranda Danielson (22.5), Francesca Palmer (22.1), Christina Palmer (21.9), Aliya Peffer (21.2) and Hannah Mayer (20.7) rounded out the order. Alexandria and the rest of the Class 7A field will shoot on June 17 during the championship shoot.
B-E first, Osakis fourth in the conference
Brandon-Evansville won the Class 2A, Conference 5 championship after totalling 10,847.5 points. The Chargers were led by Michael Schroeder, who shot a 24.3 average, good for a tie for 11th in the state to earn his right to shoot at the state tournament.
B-E's Colton Sherman did not shoot in week five of the regular season, so he did not qualify among the top 100 and will not shoot at the state championship in Alexandria.
Schroeder was the top shooter in the conference. Brandon-Evansville's Trevor Peterson (23.4) was third and Gaven Jacobson (22.9) and Nicholas Thorstad (22.9) were tied for ninth among males. Alena Shores was B-E's top female shooter with a 17.2 average, good for ninth in the conference among girls.
Osakis was fourth as a team in the Class 2A, Conference 5 field with 8,716 total points. Matthew Buffington led Osakis by finishing second in the conference among male shooters with a 23.5.
Jaden Klimek was tied for third among female shooters by average with a 19.2, while teammate Lynnea Maus was fifth at 18.6. Osakis and Brandon-Evansville will both shoot with the Class 2A field at the championship in Alexandria on June 12.
Arrows put three in top 100
Ashby had three shooters finish in the top 100 in the state. Austin Schroeder led that group with a 24.1 average. Christian Koefod (23.8) and Benton Stadsvold (23.7) will also compete in the individual state tournament. The Arrows finished fourth as a team in the Class 3A, Conference 2 field and will shoot on June 13 at the trap shooting championship.
In Class A, Conference 10, the Minnewaska squad finished second. Brady Drewes (23.1) and Kaleb Drewes (23) led the Laker boys by average. Kaley Murken (20.7) was the second best female shooter in the conference, while Haley Murken (19.1) and Sam Pfeiffer (19) were also top 10 in the league. The Class 1A field will get the championship going on June 11.
Parkers Prairie was third in the team standings in the Class 5A, Conference 1 field. Kolby Becker led the Panthers with a 23 average, good for a tie for fourth among male shooters. Emily Shircliff and Kendra Thoennes both shot a 19.2 average, good for an eighth-place tie among female shooters in the conference. Parkers Prairie will shoot at the championship on June 15.