Clay Target 2023 State Tournament Recap
Posted: Friday, June 23, 2023 - 7:59 PM
History was made on Friday, June 23 during the Minnesota State High School League’s Clay Target State Tournament at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake. The groundbreaking moment came when Detroit Lakes senior Kira Wolf captured the first-ever state championship in the Girls Division by hitting 99 of 100 targets to edge two other competitors by one target.
Last October, the Minnesota State High School League’s Board of Directors approved an Activity Advisory Proposal to add a Girls Division to the field that also includes an Open Division. There were 100 individuals that qualified for the Open Division and 28 that qualified for the Girls Division. Girls participants have the option of competing in the Open Division with the boys, but none did so in this inaugural run.
“It’s pretty amazing, actually, to be in this position,” said Wolf, a multi-sport standout for the Lakers. “I’ve never shot a 99 before and to do so in this setting, with this opportunity, is just something I never imagined could happen. It will take awhile to realize just how big this is.”
Fertile-Beltrami’s Kerra Ramsey was runner-up and Spring Grove’s Taylor Reinhardt was third. Mabel-Canton’s Saijal Slafter and Owatonna’s Taylor Busho rounded out the top five, respectively.
After the awards ceremony, Ramsey tracked down tournament administrators and was grateful for the opportunity to compete in a Girls Division.
“Please thank the Board of Directors on behalf of all of us,” she said.
In the Open Division, there was a three-way tie for the individual championship. United South Central’s Zale Bushlack, who earlier in the day powered the Rebels to the team title, shared the championship with Spring Lake Park’s Mason Meyer and East Ridge’s Alex Krska. All had perfect scores of 100.
Tri-City United’s Dylan Fox was fourth while Stillwater’s Lucas Berry and Glencoe-Silver Lake’s Hunter Gens tied for fifth.
United South Central, one of the final teams in the shooting rotation, surged into the top spot by hitting 484 of 500 targets. The Rebels, making their seventh state tournament appearance since 2016, placed 12th during the 2022 state tournament. Fairmont, the final team in the 40-field competition to complete its rounds, zoomed to the second-place finish with a score of 482, joining Roseau and Wayzata with those same scores. But after tie-breaking criteria was applied, Fairmont was second and Roseau was third. Wayzata, the state champion in 2022, was bumped to fourth. Sibley East was fifth with 480.
Zale Bushlack led the Rebels by hitting all 100 targets during the team competition. Also scoring for United South Central, located in southern Minnesota along the Iowa border, were William Allis, Hunter Bruckhoff, Braxton O’Rourke and Michael Shepherd, Jr.
United South Central head coach Darin Magnuson believed that a state championship was within reach as the season began.
“We had all of the right pieces returning,” Magnuson said. “We had great seniors and talented younger shooters. All that was needed was to put in the time and effort to make it a great season. These kids worked hard and deserve this.”