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High school clay target league announces its top shooters

Minnesota had 11,792 participants and 400 teams, by far the most of any state. Wisconsin was next with 2,928 while North Dakota was fifth with 2,076 and South Dakota 1,524.

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Clay target shooters get ready on the range during a North Dakota event in this undated photo.
Contributed / North Dakota Game and Fish Department
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EAGAN, Minn. — A record 31,688 students competed in the USA Clay Target League spring season across 34 states with state tournaments happening this month and a national tournament slated in Michigan July 6-10.

More than 1,500 students earned awards this spring through conference play during a nine-week season that began in late March, the USACTL said.

Minnesota had 11,792 participants and 400 teams, by far the most of any state. Wisconsin was next with 2,928 while North Dakota was fifth with 2,076 and South Dakota 1,524.

In Minnesota , Brady Plattner of Big Lake was the overall season average leader at 24.9. Abigail Malecha of Duluth East was the top averaging girl at 24.1.

Connor Johnson of South Prairie in Minot was the top shooter in North Dakota with a season average of 24.5. Cali Steffan of Beulah lead the girls division with a 23.1 average.

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In South Dakota , Katie Welker of Winner/Colome was the overall season average leader at 24.7. Jack Anderson, also of Winner/Colome, was the top boys shooter at 24.5.

Hunter Knotwell of Lancaster lead all Wisconsin participants with a 24.9 average while Lora Hinz of Weston led the girls at 23.8.

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"The league congratulates all of the award winners from the spring season. These talented athletes have worked hard to earn their recognition as top clay target athletes.” said John Nelson, president of the USACTL. “The league also thanks the parents, coaches, and shooting range staff that work so hard to provide a safe and fun experience for all.”

Each athlete must complete firearm safety certification before participation. The league, the only fully school-approved clay target shooting program in the U.S., states that participants have been injury-free since the USACTL's inception in 2001.

The national championship will be held in Mason, Mich.

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