Northeast Range Trap teams take Novice and Junior Varsity state championships

Novice and Junior Varsity team state championships were claimed by the Northeast Range trap teams.

The Northeast Range Trap Team has become a regular on the podium at the Minnesota State High School Trapshooting Championship but this year they reached a new level of success. With 870 athletes from 28 schools competing in Class 4 on June 14th, it took 8700 competition shots to determine the Nighthawks were the best in two of the three divisions. The young team not only won the Novice title for the third year in a row, it has now taken over the Junior Varsity division bringing home the team’s first JV title as well.
Competition on June 14 in Class 4 was part of a 9-day event deemed as “The World’s Largest” trapshooting competition in which over 8000 high school athletes from the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League come together in Alexandria after a regular season of on-line scoring. With 19 trap houses spread out over a mile the day went without a hitch, except for a 45 delay for lightning in the final hour of competition.
The Class 4 competition day yielded one perfect score of 100 to win overall high gun, three 75 straights, six 50 straights and fifty 25 straights. Seven perfect scores of 100 were shot during the entire 9-day event this year.
The 100 round competition included 50 rounds in the morning and 50 rounds in the afternoon. At noon the Nighthawks took the lead in the Novice division and were in second place in JV. A southeast wind picked up during the afternoon shoot with gusts over 30 mph, but the Hawks found themselves in familiar territory after shooting in similar conditions all season. The quickest shooters were able to break targets before the wind tossed them and at the end of the day both the JV and Novice teams were on top.
And while none of the Nighthawks earned a 25 straight patch or higher at the event, they posted a team record six 24’s during a single competition. In round one it was Joseph Foster, Ariel Kalinowski and Josh Pohlman. In round two it was Oskar Koivisto, round three Alex Motes and Pohlman again in round four.
The team also posted 29 scores in the 40’s that helped boost them to victory including 15 in the morning and 14 more in the afternoon. “During the regular season we usually had a half-dozen scores in the 40’s each week but they always shoot better in Alexandria. We knew we had the potential to do well with most of the team shooting well above their season averages, but you just never know who’s going to have a good or bad day. The kids shot well under pressure and I’m very pleased with their performance. This is a big win for our program.” said Loewen.
Out of 500 possible points, the Northeast Range Novice Team scored 386, enough to beat 2nd place South St. Paul’s 384 and 3rd place Crookston’s 375. Mountain Lake’s 356 and Irondale’s 354 rounded out the top 5.
In the Junior Varsity Division Northeast Range scored 443 points beating Centennial High School’s 441 and Hopkins 433. The top shooter in the JV division shot 94 out of 100 targets and second place was a tie at 93/100. Tie breakers are determined by the longest run of reverse order targets hit beginning at target 100. In the Varsity Division Aldon-Conger took 1st with 486 points. Monticello took second with 476 and Hopkins placed third with 467. The Nighthawks Varsity Team scored less than both the Novice and JV teams shooting a 380.
Madelene Johnson tied for second in the Novice girl’s division with Julia Zipoy of Kimball High School. The tie was broken by the reverse order rule with Johnson coming out on top scoring 4 and Zipoy missed her last target for a zero.
Several athletes from Northeast Range posted top 10 finishes with a few just missing the podium. Joseph Foster placed 4th overall in JV boys shooting 90/100, just 4 targets away from 1st. He also anchored last year’s Novice Team to a 1st place finish. Thia Lossing’s brand new gun in week 4 of the regular season proved to be a perfect fit for her and she was all business shooting an 85/100 earning her 4th place in JV girls. Natalie Nelmark’s consistency all season held true at the championship placing her 6th in the Novice girl’s division shooting 71/100

targets. Rylan Poppenhagen tied for 7th in Novice boys shooting 81/100 targets. Josh Pohlman and Alex Motes both tied for 10th in JV boys shooting 89/100, only 5 targets away from 1st. Draiden White beat his older brother by one bird shooting 80/100, good enough to take 9th in Novice boys while Darien took 10th shooting a 79/100.
Individual scores at the 100 round Alexandria event include; Kenny Aase 83, Erin Backe 53, Aili Bee 54, Kale Beno 67, Robert Bielejeski 87, Wes Blomberg 83, Robert Daugherty 84, Christopher Ferguson 72, Joseph Foster 90, Jon Hakala 77, Madelene Johnson 74, ariel Kalinowski 80, Sawyer Klingsporn 76, Oskar Koivisto 84, Inga Lakey 45, Chelsea Larson 74, Kaitlyn Larson 72, Thia Lossing 85, Jacob Mackai 84, Austin Meskill 63, Ryan Milton 88, Alex Motes 89, Natalie Nelmark 71, Josh Pohlman 89, Jade Starkman 65, Carl Sundblad 80, Darien White 79 and Draiden White 80.