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Hastings Raiders remain nation's largest trap and skeet shooting teams

Competition has started for the Hastings Raiders Trap and Skeet Shooting club. They shoot at the 3M Trap and Skeet club. Photo courtesy of Dawn Walker

Nationwide nearly 22,000 student athletes represent over 800 high school approved teams in 20 states participating in the USA High School Clay Target League. In Minnesota there are 349 trap teams with 40 conferences and nine classes as well as 33 skeet teams with five conferences and two classes based on team size statewide for fair competition. Minnesota has the highest participation in the league with 11,598 trap and 338 skeet athletes. Hastings trap is in class 9A, conference 21 which includes Albany, Bemidji, Lakeville South and Northfield.

For 2018 the Trap Team topped out at 124 participants (27 female/98 male) and the Skeet Team was limited to 30 kids (5 female/25 male). There are 41 competitors who are new to the team. The competition is virtual-based on each team shooting at their own facility each week and then their scores are entered into a league-wide database. Athletes can set up a performance tracker account and monitor their progress as well as where they stand in rank with every shooter in the state. Their season consists of two practice weeks, one reserve week and five competition weeks followed by two weeks of practice for the state competition. The team shoots at the 3M Trap and Skeet club located off of County Road 19 in Cottage Grove. Shooting takes place Sundays from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and Mondays from 3:15 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Each week each athlete shoots 2 rounds of 25 trap and the skeet shooters also shoot 2 rounds of skeet.

First week of competition

Hastings took first in trap for the first week of competition with 15,285.5 points. Northfield took second and Lakeville South was third. Top-25 season averages for males for trap in the conference are: Dawson Hobbs (23.5), Dalton DeBuono (23.5), Garret Rother (23), Tanner Kordosky (23), Alexander Foster (23), Rick Johnson (23), Matt Schmitz (23) Jake Slattum (23) and Wesley Sneddeker (23). For Females are Jenna Anderson (21.50), Alexandra Dunkel (21.50), Julia Human (21), Linsey Ellestad (20), McKayla Kielas (19.50), Allana Kielas (19.50), Taylor Merritt (19), and Caitlyn Wagner (18.50).

Hastings skeet is in class 2A, conference two which includes Lakeville South, Perham, Prior Lake and Spring Lake Park. The results for competition week one are Prior Lake in first with 622 points, Lakeville South second and Hastings in third with 518 points. Jack Caturia (22.50) leads several categories for Hastings. In the top-10 season average overall by gender-female categories is Allana Kielas (20) and in the conference top-10 by gender-females are Kielas, Sydney Woodward (19.5), Jenna Anderson (14), Caitlyn Wagner (13) and Julia Human (13). Shooting straight 25s already this season are Cody Vieth, Dawson Hobbs (3 total), Rick Johnson, Dalton DeBuono, Matthew Schmitz, Simon Kimmes, Luke McNamara and Harlin Hacken. Skeet straight 25's are Jack Caturia (3 total) and one 50.

After week three

After week two, Hastings remains in first place for trap with 29,887.5 points, ahead of Lakeville South and then Northfield. Conference top-25 season averages for males are Simon Kimmes (22.75) and Tanner Kordosky (22.75) and for females are Linsey Ellestad (20.25), Julia Human (20.25),Alexandra Dunkel (19.50), Taylor Merritt (19.25), Jenna Anderson (18.75), Marissa Miller (18), Allana Kielas (18) and Stephanie Braun (17.75).

For Skeet, Hastings remains in third place with 1,000.5 points behind leader prior Lake with 1,197. Jack Caturia still leads the males (22.50) for top-25 season average overall and conference top-10 season average overall. In the conference top-10 season average for females is Allana Kielas (17.50), Sydney Woodward (16.50), Jenna Anderson (15.25) and Julia Human (12).Straight 25 shooters this week are Dawson Hobbs, Simon Kimmes and Jenna Anderson. Hastings recently registered for the nine-day mega meet in Alexandria, which is held in the middle of June (Hastings shoots June 19), and 100 Raider participants will be competing. Two days later, 27 skeet shooters will compete in Prior Lake.