PRIOR LAKE -- Competing in its third MSHSL Clay Target State Tournament in four years, the Bemidji High School trap shooting team placed 16th out of 40 teams Friday at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake. The Lumberjacks powdered 465 out of 500 targets as a team to rank among the top half of the field.
“I’m really proud of the Lumberjack team that was there,” team manager Kelly Geiger said. “They represented Bemidji well.”
The team qualified for state after taking 26th in the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League Trap Shooting Championship in Alexandria on Tuesday. The Jacks jumped 10 spots against the same teams at Friday’s tournament.
“That’s definitely a positive,” Geiger said.
Nic Geiger paced BHS by shooting 97 out of 100 targets during the team tournament Friday morning. He was followed by Nicholas Peterson (95), Tate Hammitt (94), Kamin Pierce (91) and Matthew Rud (88). Geiger, Hammitt, Peterson and Pierce all notched 25 Straights.
Shooters braved windy and chilly conditions that posed a challenge to competitors.
“The wind was real inconsistent,” Kelly Geiger said. “I think it actually affected a lot of the teams down there just with inconsistent scores. Like with their first 50 compared to their second 50, there were some big changes.”
Nic Geiger, Peterson and Hammitt pulled double duty Friday, returning to action in the afternoon 102-shooter individual tournament. Geiger and Hammitt each tied for 42nd with a 95, while Peterson posted a 90 to tie for 84th.
“I think everyone represented Bemidji well, whether they got the scores they wanted or not,” Kelly Geiger said. “They conducted themselves in a professional manner. I think it was a good day. I think everyone left feeling good.”
New Prague captured both the team and individual state championships. The Trojans finished two points ahead of Alexandria with a 484 to clinch the team title, and Woodrow Glazer fired the only 100 Straight of the day to claim the individual title. Thirteen individuals recorded 99s.
While Nic Geiger, Peterson and Hammitt are no strangers to the state tournament, the rest of the team relished their first experience at the event.
“It was really fun to watch the shooters who hadn’t been there before just take it all in,” Kelly Geiger said. “With some young shooters there, we were really hoping that it would make them hungry to want to go back again. And I really think it did have that effect. That’s what’s going to keep the program strong in the future.”
The Lumberjacks aren’t quite done yet.
Bemidji will send a team to the USA Clay Target National Championship held July 10-14 in Mason, Mich., to compete among the nation’s best high schoolers. Nic Geiger, Kiah Martinson, Ian Ekstrom, Trevor Voss, Brecken Meyers and Kaleb Bruns will represent the BHS trap program at the event.
“It’s a big program, and to be running solely on volunteers and community support is an amazing thing,” Kelly Geiger said. “And it says a lot for Bemidji as a community.”
Team Results (top 10)
1-New Prague 484; 2-Alexandria 482; 3-Lakeville South 482; 4-Hopkins 482; 5-Wayzata 480; 6-Tri-City United 479; 7-Marshall 478; 8-Blaine 476; 9-Fairmont 475; 10-Roseau 474.