The 2016 Clay Target Championships began Tuesday in Alexandria. Over an eight-day period, more than 7,000 athletes will take part in the biggest such event in the world.

Trap shooting teams are divided up based on number of shooters on the team not school enrollment. The top teams from each day will be invited to the Minnesota State High School League championships on June 25 at Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake.

Blooming Prairie shot on Tuesday with the likes of Rochester John Marshall and Winona. Medford shoots on Wednesday, June 15. Last year the Tigers qualified for the MSHSL tournament. The Alexandria event is an all-comers competition. Kenyon-Wanamingo and Rochester Mayo also shoot Wednesday.

Triton shoots Thursday. Other area teams that day include Red Wing and WEM. Faribault Bethlehem Academy and Kasson-Mantorville are among the teams shooting Friday.

NRHEG competes Monday, June 20, alongside Big Nine teams from Austin and Faribault.

While the Alexandria tournament determines the teams for the MSHSL event, the individual shooters are determined from the regular season - 106 shooters are invited to participate in that portion of the high school league event. NRHEG's Colin Chistenson ranked third in the state after the five-week regular season. His average was 24.5 out of 25. Panther teammate Kyle Bartz (23.9 average) and Jake Gedicke of Medord (23.2) are also eligible to compete for the individual state title.

Roy Koenig, Townsquare Media