Northfield High School Clay Target Team had seven individuals represent them at national competition in Mason, Michigan earlier this month.

Head Coach Pete Mergens was joined at Professional Pride Realty in Northfield by team members Matthew Riehm and Patrick Mergens to discuss their experiences.

Riehm just graduated and Mergens will be a junior this year at Northfield High School.

Others that made the trip to Michigan were Blake Tutewohl, Adam Viscocil, Grant Albers, Haden Kelly, and Quinn Ertz.

Patrick and Quinn qualified for the USA High School Clay Target League National Championship individual finals.

There were 42 trap houses at the national competition with some Minnesota teams and individuals doing well.

Roseau, Mn. finished third in the nation.  Champions were Calhoun, Illinois.

The top 3 individuals were perfect through two rounds and had a shoot-off.  Landon Sievers of Calhoun won the national title.

Team runnerup was St. James Academy Kansas.

Noah Heimermann of Austin, Mn. placed 6th and Bradyn Romsdahl of Comgrey, Mn. was 9th in the nation.

Pete Mergens told A.M. Minnesota listeners he was proud of all of the boys because you have to earn your trip to the competition.  The competitors are literally the best high school shooters in the country.

Other Northfield students qualified but elected not to go to the competition.

Competitors have to make their own way to Michigan and with hotel costs and meals for the five day stay it can get a bit costly.

Matthew and Patrick are good friends but very competitive.  Pete says that is one of the things he enjoys about trap shooting.

The team cheers for each other to do well and competes at a very high level.

Patrick and Matthew agreed the toughest part of the competition is the mental aspect.  You have to totally concentrate on what you are doing.  No other thoughts can enter your mind.

Pete wishes the sport had been offered when he was in high school.  He says coaching the team has been a "life changing experience" for him.

Matthew says you learn hard work pays off.  Both he and Patrick also like the fact that it is a sport with girls and boys competing at the same time on the same level.

You can listen to the show below.

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