Packers finish clay target season on a high note

Published 6:15 pm Wednesday, June 26, 2024

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The Austin clay target team finished a strong season with an exclamation point when it finished 36th place at the Minnesota State High School League State Meet in Prior Lake recently.

Austin took first place in sporting clay, second in 5-stand and fifth in skeet.

Junior Nathan Martinson had his biggest performance of his career when he connected on 100 straight shots. He also took first in high gun in five-stand, had the highest sporting clay average in the conference, the third highest stand average in the conference and the second best skeet average in the conference.

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Martinson is now the second Austin team member to connect on 100 straight shots in a competition.

“I was just trying to shoot my best,” Martinson said. “When I got to the last station, my hands were shaking like none other. When I got to my last shot, I could barely keep my hands straight.”

Preston Schlichter, who graduated this spring, took third in high gun, and he had the third highest clay and 5-stand average in the conference.

“I was pretty pleased with how we did as a team,” Schlichter said. “These big meets are a little different with the background. Not every trap house is the same.”

Austin took second place in 5-stand for Class 1A-Conference 1, second place in skeet for Class 1A-Conference 2 and sixth place in trap for Class 5A-Conference 1.

Senior Haylie Meyer took second place in JV high gun female in Alexandria. The Austin girls team was low on numbers this season and Meyer is hoping more girls will come out and try to play.

“We had a lot of personal improvements and personal best scores for our girls this year,” Meyer said. “We definitely need more girls on the team.”

The team welcomes shooters from Austin High School, as well as Pacelli High School. The only requirement for team members is to have their hunter’s safety certificate, which you can acquire by sixth grade.

“It never hurts to just give it a try. I know a lot of people who just tried and they ended up loving it. Nathan was one of them,” Schlichter said.