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Clay Dusters preparing for state championships

The Park Rapids Clay Dusters trap-shooting team concluded the regular season by winning the Class 3A Conference 3 title, finishing second at the Mid-State Conference meet at Detroit Lakes and placing third at the Bemidji Invitational.

The Park Rapids Clay Dusters trap-shooting team concluded the regular season by winning the Class 3A Conference 3 title, finishing second at the Mid-State Conference meet at Detroit Lakes and placing third at the Bemidji Invitational.

The Clay Dusters will enter the 2018 Trap Shooting Championships at Alexandria on June 13. This is a qualifier for the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League State Tournament at the Minneapolis Gun Club on June 22. There are 325 high school teams and more than 8,000 athletes expected to compete at Alexandria.

Cole Girtz has automatically qualified for the state tournament after tying for 39th place among all shooters with a 23.90 average out of a possible 25.00. Girtz tied Rushford-Peterson's Quenten Douglas for the top average in the Class 3A Conference 3 standings after five weeks of shooting. Hunter Johnson of Wheaton and Owen Novacek of Badger-Greenbush-Middle River had the best averages in the state at 24.70.

Park Rapids ended the conference season by placing first in Week 4 with 4,771 points and in Week 5 with 5,248 points for a five-week total of 24,073.50. Rushford-Peterson was second with 19,525 total points while Mayo (17.931), Belle Plaine (17,717), Morris Area (1,4653.50), Sauk Centre (14,251.50), Windom (14,161), Marshall County Central (12,777) and Melrose (12,414.50) rounded out the nine-team conference standings.

Ean Voigt tied for third in the conference with a 23.40 average while Jack Hensel was seventh with a 23.10 average. Also making the top-25 for males for Park Rapids were Blake Johnson (tied for 11th with a 22.60 average), Isaac Hoverson (tied for 18th with a 21.70 average) and Logan Nevala (tied for 24th with a 21.30 average).

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For Park Rapids in the female division, Sally Yliniemi was second with a 21.40 average, Zoe Flath was fourth with a 21.20 average, Arianne Warmbold was sixth with a 20.80 average, Samantha Yliniemi was 10th with a 20.10 average and Megan Offerdahl was 13th with a 19.40 average.

Menahga finished fifth in the Class 1A Conference 9 standings by ending the season with 817 points in Week 4 and 1,314 points in Week 5 for 5,341.50 total points.

Medford led the conference standings with 7,247 points with Apollo (6,660.50), Grygla-Gatzke (6,492.50) and LeRoy-Ostrander (6,398.50) following. Randolph (5,120), Norman County East (4,941), Martin County West (3,248.50) and Breck (3,170.50) rounded out the nine-team conference.

Leading Menahga were Ethan Trout (tied for 10th with a 21.30 average), Jadon Maaninga (tied for 12th with a 21.20 average) and Jeffrey Rockensock (tied for 21st with a 20.60 average) for males and Beth Rockensock (second with a 20.70 average), Kiara Kocurek (eighth with a 14.40 average), Melissa Trout (ninth with a 14.10 average) and Katie Spadgenske (16th with a 13.20 average) for females.

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1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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