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Alexandria shooters compete among state's best Friday

Alexandria's Nicolas Witt cracks a smile as he changes stations on June 17 at the championship shoot in Alexandria. Witt shot a 96 that day and is one of seven students from this program who finished in the top 100 by average this spring and will shoot in the individual state tournament on Friday in Prior Lake. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

The Alexandria trap shooting team will indeed get its chance to compete for a state tournament title this week.

After nine days of the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League's championship shoot, the field for Friday's tournament at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake is set. The top 40 teams overall from the championship qualified for this weekend's shoot.

Out of more than 300 teams, Alexandria, Lakeview, Badger-Greenbush-Middle River and Bemidji all shot a 487, good for the fourth highest score of the championship.

Alexandria's top scores on Sunday came from CJ Schlosser, Adam Zimmerman and Erik Knight, as all three finished with a 98 out of 100 to tie for fifth individually in Class 7A. Ford Allen-Opp shot a 97, and a 96 rounded out the team scoring with Jeremy Knight, Riley Nieland, Adam Oehlenschlager and Nicolas Witt all hitting that mark. In total, 21 kids from Alexandria shot in the 90s at the championship.

That means coaches have some tough decisions to make heading into the state tournament. Each program that made state now has to designate five shooters from their team to shoot at the Minneapolis Gun Club.

"It's a tough problem to have because we have 10 shooters who are really good," Alexandria coach Scott Green said. "We have to pick five who we know can participate under the pressure of being down at state. It's like any sport where you have to go with your best players."

The team competition at the state tournament starts at 9 a.m. on Friday and wraps up with an awards ceremony at approximately 12:15 p.m. An individual tournament will follow with the top 100 shooters in the state by average competing. Among that group are many local shooters who will be vying for that overall crown.

MSHS CLAY TARGET CHAMPIONSHIP - TOP 40 SCORES OUT OF POSSIBLE 500 (State qualifiers) - St. Michael-Albertville - 492; Wayzata - 491; Park Rapids - 488; Lakeview - 487; Badger-Greenbush-Middle River - 487; Alexandria - 487; Bemidji - 487; New Prague - 486; Alden-Conger - 486; Marshall - 484; Hibbing - 484; Roseau - 483; United South Central - 483; Lakeville - 483; Fairmont - 483; Mahtomedi - 482; Champlin Park - 482; Buffalo - 482; Delano - 481; Perham - 480; East Grand Forks - 478; Austin - 478; Tri-City United - 478; Prior Lake - 478; Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg - 477; Hutchinson - 477; Farmington - 477; Cambridge-Isanti - 477; Monticello - 476; Northfield - 476; St. Peter - 475; Spring Grove - 475; Rogers - 475; Zimmerman - 475; Owatonna - 474; Belle Plaine - 474; Maple Grove - 473; Ada-Borup-Norman County West - 473; Big Lake - 473; Willmar - 473

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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