Fairmont Area earns state clay target team bid

TAKING AIM AT STATE — Members of the Fairmont Area trapshooting program, from left, Colby Grotte, Andrew Moeller, Jacob Bocock, Cass Davis, Max Seifried, Jackson Francis and Tucker Bahr, will compete in the Minnesota State High School League’s clay target state team meet at 9 a.m. Friday at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake. Grotte, Bocock, Seifried and Bahr also will shoot in the state individual competition at 1 p.m. Friday in Prior Lake. (Photo courtesy of Seifried Portrait Design)

FAIRMONT — Taking aim at a double-double.

The Fairmont Area trapshooters clinched the Class 9A conference championship Tuesday while simultaneously earning a state team bid during the Minnesota State High School Target League Trapshooting Championship meet in Alexandria.

Four of Fairmont Area’s marksmen also doubled their rounds during Friday’s state clay target competition on the heels of previously qualifying for the individual portion of the event at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake.

Colby Grotte, who also will be competing in the 1 p.m. state individual shoot Friday, broke 98 birds to pace Fairmont Area’s winning conference total of 483 out of 500 in Alexandria two days ago.

Fairmont Area managed to squeeze by both Hermantown and Park by three birds apiece to earn the conference team crown.

Fairmont Area’s score of 483 also proved good enough to capture ninth place out of all the classes to merit a trip to Prior Lake on Friday. Blaine connected for a meet-winning 493 on Tuesday, with host Alexandria netting runner-up honors at 489.

“Tuesday’s shoot was a meet within a meet,” said Fairmont Area head coach Todd Segar. “We managed to win our conference at the same time that we qualified for the state team meet.

“We were just hoping to break into the top 40 (the state-qualifying standard) on Tuesday, but we really put together a great score and made the top 10.”

Grotte opened with a 25-24-49 before reversing his second-round 49 — 24-25 — to earn a share of second place overall during the state qualifier in Alexandria. Hastings’ Tanner Kordosky also broke 98, but won the individual championship via a reverse run of 83 targets.

Will Schellpeper produced a 97 to tie for eighth place overall for Fairmont Area. Schellpeper opened with a 23-25-48 before netting a 25-24-49 to earn a spot on the meet’s 50 straight club.

Max Seifried, Cass Davis, Noah Wedel and Jackson Francis each connected for 96 clays to earn a share of 14th place overall and round out Fairmont Area’s counting team totals of 98-97-96-96-96.

Francis merited special recognition on the 50 straight club by opening with a perfect 25-25 before closing with back-to-back 23s in the second round.

Davis contributed a 23-24-47 to go with a 24-25-49, Wedel tallied a 24-23-47 to complement a 24-25-49, while Seifried bookended his round Tuesday with perfect 25s. Seifried penciled in a 25-24-49 to open before closing with a 22-25-47.

Ty Wintheiser and Dustyn Vandever connected for a pair of 95s to share 25th place overall for Fairmont Area, Jacob Bocock carded a 94 to tie for 47th, while Andrew Moeller and Tucker Bahr each broke 93 to garner a piece of 61st place overall.

Grotte, Bocock, Seifried, Bahr and Davis will represent Fairmont Area in Friday’s 9 a.m. state team meet in Prior Lake, while Moeller and Francis will be the alternates.

“We (the coaching staff) opted to take the scores from our five regular-season rounds of 100, plus the 100 from Tuesday’s qualifier, and then take the top seven scoring averages,” said Segar. “We determined our team mathematically, and think it demonstrates who’s the most consistent throughout the entire season, and gives us the best chance at state.

“Will and Noah had scores Tuesday that helped us win the conference and qualified for state, but their averages were not as consistent as Jacob, Andrew and Tucker posted throughout the season.”

In fact, Bocock earned both the conference’s high overall shooter and high male shooter awards, based on his five-week totals during the regular season.

After the 9 a.m. state team competition ends Friday, Bocock, Seifried, Bahr and Grotte will return to the Minneapolis Gun Club for the 1 p.m. individual portion of the elite event.

“Those four guys will have to shoot 200 rounds instead of their usual 100 at state due to competing in both the team and individual meets,” said Segar. “It will take both physical endurance and mental stamina to stay focused, especially during the second 100.

“Miss one bird and you could be out of the running for a state championship.”

After perusing the top team scores at the last couple of state meets, Segar also knows that his team will have be close to perfect to compete for the state championship.

“Blaine put up a 493 to win the qualifier Tuesday, so if we want to be in the hunt, we’ll have to put up a big number,” said Segar. “Only seven misses. That means you’re probably going to have a couple of 100s and the other three in the high 90s. That’s incredible shooting.”

Segar also is keeping an eye on the weather app on his cell phone.

“I’m not usually a weather watcher, but the forecast for Friday calls for wind and rain, and those two elements could come into play,” said Segar. “All we can do is compete to the best of our abilities, and see where it goes from there.”

State Qualifier Meet

State Qualifying Teams (40): 1. Blaine 493; 2. Alexandria 489; 3. Badger-Greenbush-Middle River 488; 4. Marshall 488; 5. New Prague 487; 6. Park Rapids 484; 7. Brainerd 484; 8. Hibbing 483; 9. Fairmont Area 483; 10. Wheaton 481; 11. Roseau 481; 12. Alden-Conger 481; 13. Delano 481; 14. Minnewaska Area 480; 15. Spring Grove 480; 16. Hopkins 480; 17. Annandale 480; 18. Hermantown 480; 19. Park 480; 20. Prior Lake 480; 21. Lakeview 479; 22. Hastings 479; 23. Lakeville South 479; 24. United South Central 479; 25. Champlin Park 479; 26. Bemidji 479; 27. Buffalo 479; 28. Tri-City United 477; 29. Wayzata 477; 30. Foley 477; 31. Monticello 477; 32. Forest Lake 476; 33. Irondale 476; 34. Perham 476; 35. Duluth East 475; 36. Red Wing 475; 37. Cambridge-Isanti 475; 38. Zimmerman 474; 39. Northfield 474; 40. New London-Spicer 474.

9A Conference Results

Team Standings: 1. Fairmont Area 483; 2. Hermantown 480; 3. Park 480; 4. Hastings 479; 5. Lakeville South 479; 6. Bemidji 479; 7. Northfield 474; 8. Farmington 472; 9. Rosemount 470; 10. Pequot Lakes 468; 11. Owatonna 467; 12. Albany 457; 13. Andover 456; 14. Faribault 452; 15. Pine City 447.

Other Fairmont Individual Leaders: Varsity Female: Kate Busche 86. JV Male: Adam Wohlhuter 89. JV Female: Sabrina Segar 75. Novice Male: Caiden Padgett 71. Novice Female: Jonissa Neitzel 71.

Fairmont Scores: Colby Grotte 98 (tied for 2nd) 25-24-49 & 24-25-49; Will Schellpeper 97 (tied for 8th) 23-25-48 & 25-24-49; Cass Davis 96 (tied for 14th) 23-24-47 & 24-25-49; Max Seifried 96 (tied for 14th) 25-24-49 & 22-25-47; Noah Wedel 96 (tied for 14th) 24-23-47 & 24-25-49; Jackson Francis 96 (tied for 14th) 25-25-50 & 23-23-46; Ty Wintheiser 95 (tied for 25th) 23-23-46 & 24-25-49; Dustyn Vandever 95 (tied for 25th) 25-24-49 & 24-22-46; Jacob Bocock 94 (tied for 47th) 24-24-48 & 22-24-46; Andrew Moeller 93 (tied for 61st) 22-24-46 & 23-24-47; Tucker Bahr 93 (tied for 61st) 25-24-49 & 22-22-44; Tucker Mosloski and Eric Becker 92s (tied for 86th); Jedidiah Fowler 91 (tied for 103rd); Levi Buhmann 90 (tied for 122nd); Anthony Holland 89 (tied for 143rd); Mason Kotewa 87 (tied for 196th); Blake Redepenning 86 (tied for 226th); Carter Leiding 86 (tied for 226th); Kate Busche 86 (tied for 226th); Hayden Clabaugh 84 (tied for 270th); Shelby Van Gelderen 84 (tied for 270th); Tyler Fogelson 83 (tied for 291st); Gavin Junkermeier 81 (tied for 317th); Austin Clabaugh 79 (tied for 343rd); Gracie Ziemer 78 (tied for 354th); Logan Wedel 75 (tied for 381st); Dakotah Hoefker 74 (tied for 389th); Joseph Bleess 74 (tied for 389th).