Lions take third straight state trap title

Takoda Boyd hit 96 of 100 targets to tie for eighth place (tied with teammate Tristan Brainard behind Spring Grove’s state runner-up Brandon Anderson) among 298 shooters in last week’s Class 1A state championships at Alexandria. Photo by S. Lee Epps
S. Lee Epps

They did it again; the Spring Grove co-ed high school trap shooters have won a third state team championship at the annual Minnesota State High School Clay Target Association championships at Alexandria on June 10. 

With several shooters away on the school music trip to Nashville, a dozen of the 20-member trap team made the long trip to compete as the Lions captured the state Class 1A crown, and Brandon Anderson was the individual runner-up.

The Spring Grove team total was 480 (out of a perfect 500), which was 15 better than state runner-up Grygla-Gatzke at 465. There were 26 teams competing in Class 1A.

Two Lions brought home individual state medals, including Anderson who hit 99 of 100 clay targets with rounds of 25, 25, 24 and 25 - one of six Lions to have a 25-straight round.

Tristan Brainard had a pair of 25-straights and Takoda Boyd one as they tied for eighth place overall, each hitting 96 of 100 birds.

Kyle Hagen opened with a 25-straight and finished tied for 11th among 298 shooters after knocking 95 targets out of the sky.

CJ Sylling closed out the team score with a 94, tied for 13th overall. (The top five scores count toward the team total.)

Marie Petersen started with a 50-straight and had the 35th-best (out of 298) overall score of 92. But that total earned her a second-place medal among of all Class 1A girls. 

Hailey Conway was one bird back at 91, the fourth-best among all 27 girls (one place short of a girls medal).

Sophomore Tristan Hammel, also at 91, (including a 25-straight) tied with Conway for 44th overall, two targets ahead of sophomore Garrison Van Minsel at 89.

Eighth grader Xander Lewis connected with 87 clay birds while Tanner Thesing hit 83.

Seventh grader Taylor Reinhardt was the only Lion junior varsity shooter and blasted 86 birds, tying her for third among 45 JV girls. She lost the tiebreaker to just miss out on a state medal.

Conference medals

In addition to those state medals, there was a presentation of medals earned during regular-season conference competition. Conference 1A-10 champion Spring Grove swept five of the six individual medals.

The conference's three medals for girls went to Ashlyn Hammel with a season average of 23.6, Petersen (23.3) and Conway (22.8).

The top two boys in the conference were Anderson (24.0 out of a perfect 25.0) and Boyd (23.3).

MSHSL next

One class shoots each day at Alexandria through Class 9A competition on June 18. The top 40 teams from all nine classes qualify for this week's (June 21) Minnesota State High School League state tournament, which crowns an overall state champion at Prior Lake. 

Although not official until all classes have finished (one day after the Herald went to press), Spring Grove was in excellent position for one of those 40 team slots with the 13th-best score (when the Herald went to press) with only Class 8A and 9A yet to compete.

Anderson, a junior, has already qualified as an individual, having earned All-State status as one of the top 100 shooters in the state during regular-season competition, 

Last year after winning the Class 2A state championship, the Lions placed 20th among 40 teams at MSHSL state.

The previous year in 2017, Spring Grove won the Class 1A state title and went on to placing ninth in the MSHSL all-classes finale.