State trapshooting: Worthington takes 15th at state meet
PRIOR LAKE — The Worthington High clay target team was one of only 24 to qualify for the first Minnesota State High School League State Meet.
The Trojans — along with the 23 other qualifying teams statewide — competed at Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake on Saturday with both team and individual championships taking place.
After finishing first in its conference and taking second at the qualifying meet in Alexandria, Worthington finished with a team score of 448 on Saturday, putting it in 15th place. Buffalo took the title with a cumulative score of its top five shooters at 489. Monticello was second at 483.
Worthington shot in the third flight and by the time its turn came about, Mother Nature was working against the Trojans.
“All the weather that was (in Worthington) Saturday morning; it went that direction,” Trojans’ coach Aaron Sieve said. “It rained for every team, but by the time we went, the rain was heavy and, when we started our second round, the wind came up to about 30 miles per hour.”
Still, the Trojans managed to finish with the highest score of anyone in their flight.
Zak Abdulrahman led them in doing so, hitting 92-of-100 clay targets. Nathan Patten was just one hit behind him at 91 with Gage Langerud and Erik Landgaard both hitting 90. Zach Bruns completed the team score with an 85.
Landgaard and Donovan Bruns knew prior to the team qualification that they would be shooting at state. The two Trojans put together a high enough average score during the conference season that they had already qualified as individuals, putting them among the top 104 shooters out of more than 6,000 in the state.
Bruns hit all 25 targets in his fourth round while only missing one in the first and third go-around. His 20 in the second round cost him a bit, but he still tied for 25th with a score of 93.
Landgaard ended his individual day in a tie for 57th, getting stronger as the day went on. After opening the day at 21 and 20 hits, he finished well with a 23 and a 24 in his final two rounds to finish at 88.
It was a strong sign of improvement for the Trojans, coming just one year after having only two shooters competing at the varsity level.
“They all shot varsity scores,” Sieve said. “The weather had some impact on how they did. When it’s like that, the mind will be your worst enemy. You’ll miss one bird and the wind will pick up and that bird will start dancing all over. It makes things pretty tough. But I think they all still shot very respectable scores.”