On Saturday, June 14, at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake, several hundred of the best Minnesota high school trap shooters will be taking aim at the first State Clay Target Tournament for which the Minnesota State High School League is a presenting partner with the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League.
Based on the Clay Target League’s five-week regular season, 104 individuals will compete, separate from the team competition involving 24 teams of five and two alternates.
The average scores for the 104 students competing for individual honors range from 22.4 to 24.7, the mark held by Tommy Mavencamp of St. Michael-Albertville. Those averages are based on 25 targets per round. For the state tournament, each athlete will shoot four rounds of 25 targets for a potential perfect score of 100.
The 24 teams are separated into five classes based on the number of athletes participating on each team. The teams qualified June 6-10 at the Clay Target League’s championship in Alexandria.
Nine teams in Class A: Brandon-Evansville, Buffalo, Detroit lakes, Holy Family Catholic of Victoria, Kimball, Richfield/Academy of Holy Angels, Wadena-Deer Creek, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley and Worthington. Five teams in Class AA: Badger/Greenbush-Middle River, Brainerd, Coon Rapids, Hermantown and Hibbing. Four teams in Class AAA: Monticello, New Richland-H-E-G, St. Francis and Zimmerman. Three teams in Class AAAA: Delano, Prior Lake and St. Michael-Albertville. Three teams in Class AAAAA: Lakeville South, New Prague and Wayzata.
The team competition will be held in the morning, in flights of eight teams at 9 a.m., 10:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The individuals are also flighted, with 40 in the first flight at 1:15 p.m., another 40 in the second flight at 2:30 p.m., and the remaining 24 in the third flight at 3:45 p.m. The team awards ceremony is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. and the individual awards ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Trap shooters stand 16 feet behind the structure from which the targets are randomly thrown into the air within an arc of no less than 17 degrees and no more than 27 degrees either side of the center of the structure known as the trap house. Athletes, one by one, activate the machine that throws the clay targets with their voice.
“One of our goals was to explore the potential assimilation of education-based competitions to enhance opportunities for students and member schools,” said Dave Stead, executive director of the Minnesota State High School League. “With the continuing success of the clay target league, this state tournament helps achieve our goals.”
The activity is all-inclusive and participants may be male or female or physically challenged. All participants are required to obtain a state Firearm Safety Training Certificate.