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TRAP SHOOTING: Five Bemidji shooters heading to nationals

Five shooters from the Bemidji trap shooting team have qualified for the 2018 USA High School Clay Target Shooting National Championship Tournament, which is to be held Friday-Sunday, July 13-15, in Mason, Mich. Pictured are (left to right) Ian Ekstrom, Nic Geiger, Kiah Martinson, Trevor Voss, and Cruise Smith. (Submitted Photo)

BEMIDJI -- Five Bemidji High School trap shooters have qualified as a squad as well as individually to compete at the 2018 USA High School Clay Target League National Championship, which will be held Friday-Sunday, July 13-15, in Mason, Mich.

The shooters, who are Ian Ekstrom, Nic Geiger, Kiah Martinson, Trevor Voss, and Cruise Smith, will arrive at the Michigan Trapshooting Homegrounds for practice shooting today before they compete as a squad at 9 a.m. Friday in the first flight of the day.

To reach this stage individually, each shooter had to average 20.0 targets in rounds of 25 throughout the course of the season, and all five squad members accomplished the feat to compete again on Saturday.

The top 400 individuals (out of more than 2,000) and the top 80 teams compete again Sunday to determine the national champions.

Although the Bemidji team competed against the best teams in Minnesota, which will make up a larger portion of the contestants than any other state this weekend, the team will see some representatives from across the country.

“Compared to the state tournament, I would guess the competition level is going to be pretty similar,” Bemidji coach Kelly Geiger said. “I think it’s going to take some perfect scores to be the national champion.

“The biggest difference is that, instead of just competing against kids from Minnesota, they’ll competing against kids from all over the country. As a team when we’re shooting, we’ll be next to a team from New York and Wisconsin on the other side, and then a team from Michigan shoots after us, and Ohio and Texas, Oregon, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Illinois. It’s just so cool.”

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