The M State clay target team recently completed their first season. Pictured are, left to right, Kalli Steinbach, Kolsen Papon, Jack Cannella, Bryer Merkens, Bryan Westbrook, Macenzie Schultz and coach Kent Quamme.

M State drew competitors from all four of its campuses during its inaugural clay target season this fall, and the college’s Kalli Steinbach was winner of the individual season championship in the women’s Blue Division.

Close behind Steinbach in the rankings was Macenzie Schultz, who claimed third place in their division.

In addition to Steinbach (Moorhead campus) and Schultz (Wadena), participants this fall included Jack Cannella and Bryan Westbrook (Moorhead), Bryer Merkens (Detroit Lakes) and Kolsen Papon (Fergus Falls).

Team members competed individually at their home shooting range weekly during the six-week season, with scores entered electronically by coaches and tallied by MCAC on its website. Divisions were based on the number of team members, with the Blue Division for small teams (five to 14 shooters) and the Red Division for larger teams (15 or more shooters).

M State finished sixth in the nine-team Blue Division for the season.

The season wrapped up with in-person championships in Alexandria in mid-October, with 215 shooters from 14 teams.

In addition to winning the individual season championship, Steinbach also received an MCAC patch designating a 25-straight round (25 clay targets make up a round). Cannella received two “25 Straight” patches, one during the regular season and one during the championships.

“It’s really amazing to watch these students shoot 25 straight,” said Kent Quamme, coach of the M State team. “You get to the point where you don’t believe they will ever miss a target.”

Other teams in the Blue Division were Bismarck State College (North Dakota), Itasca Community College, Pine Technical and Community College, Lake Region State College (North Dakota), Hibbing Community College, Dakota College (North Dakota), Northland Community and Technical College and Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

“The students did a great job, and it sounds like four of them will be returning next year,” Quamme said. “The weather conditions during regular season were not great, with the students shooting in high winds and rain. That will definitely affect the scores. I look forward to next season with four seasoned shooters returning to shoot and help any new members of the team acclimate to college clay target shooting.”

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