Ben Swanson

Ben Swanson is one of the top shooters for the Jordan clay target and sporting clays team this spring.

The Jordan trap shooting team is hoping to hit a lot of targets come June.

The team is off to a good start after the first week of shooting in the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League. After one round, Jordan is in first place in Class 5A Conference 3 with 4,815 points.

Rochester Century is second out of the seven schools (4,415.5).

Jordan also competes in sporting clays. It is one of seven teams in the state competing in that inaugural season.

Sporting clays is more like field shooting, rather than firing at clay targets being thrown from standardized distances like in skeet and trap.

Jordan is in first place at the midway point of the season in sporting clays with 211 points. Marshall is a close second (195.5).

Jordan coach Jeff Radick said there are 48 shooters on his clay target team this spring and nine on sporting clays.

“Because we shoot middle schoolers on our high school team, we get classified really high, higher than any other sport for Jordan,” Radick said. “So our goal for trap is always to run in the middle of our conference. At tournament time, the scores go to the top five in every class.

“Jordan’s top five can run with just about any high school,” Radick added. “Nationally, we placed 66th in 2018 and 40th in 2019.”

Jordan’s Ben Swanson is leading the conference after the first round of clay target shooting, hitting 24 of 25 targets. Teammates Cheylub Schmitt and Jacob Stay were tied for third (23) and Hunter Lenzmeier and Nick McConnell were tied for sixth (22.5).

In the sporting clays, Swanson was tied for first at the midway point of the season with 23 out of 25 targets hit. Ben Hagen was third (22.75), followed by Connor Raduenz, who is tied for fourth (22.5).

“We have no expectations starting up in sporting clays, but we knew we had a shot with our kids having easy access to the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club (in Prior Lake),” said Radick.

The MSHSCTL State Championships will be held virtually June 11-20. It’s normally held at Alexandria Shooting Park and all teams from all classes compete.

The Minnesota State High School League’s state tournament is set for June 26 at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake. Only 40 of the 324 teams in the state qualify, along with 100 individuals. Jordan was there as a team in 2015.

The MSHSL state tourney has been around since 2014. Past state champions include Buffalo (2014), Lakeville South (2015), New Prague (2016 and 2019) and St. Michael-Albertville (2017 and 2018).

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no trap shooting season last spring.

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.