Gust Lundeen is first-ever MSHSL trapshooting champion
By Jennifer Kotila
Dassel-Cokato Charger Gust Lundeen made history June 14 when he took the individual state championship in the first-ever Minnesota State High School League trapshooting tournament.
“I don’t know what it was I just shot really well that day,” Lundeen said of his unexpected victory.
The top 100 individual high school shooters in the state qualified for the tournament, and Lundeen was the only member of the Charger trapshooting team to qualify.
Not only was this the first-ever state tournament in Minnesota for high school trapshooters, but it was the first of its kind in the US.
The tournament took place at the Minneapolis Gun Club in Prior Lake in about the worst conditions imaginable for trapshooting a lot of rain, and wind gusts up to 25 miles-per-hour.
However, Lundeen shot the best he did all season, finishing with a score of 99 missing just one clay target for the day.
“After he shot and broke the last clay target, Lundeen turned around, soaking wet, with a huge grin on his face,” said co-head coach Rich Dahlberg. “By now, his relatives, coaches, and the crowd knew they had just seen the best individual shooting performance so far that day.”
Being in the second flight of shooters, Lundeen had to wait in the clubhouse for two hours to see if his score held up, which it did.
Four other shooters missed two targets to tie for second with 98s, but Lundeen was the only shooter to miss only one.
Before the state tournament, Lundeen was ranked number 31 of 5,990 high school trapshooters in Minnesota, shooting an average of 23.1 of 25 clay targets during the season’s competitions.
He shot an 89 of 100 at the state team-qualifying tournament in Alexandria June 6.
Although the coaches and Lundeen were expecting the tournament to be cancelled due to the weather, that was not the case.
Before the individual competition, Lundeen, his family, and coaches watched the team competition, where talented shooters were facing the same challenging shots in the wind and rain Lundeen would face later in the day.
“By the afternoon, all of the non-permanent shelters had blown away, and the trap field was under 3 inches of water in places,” Dahlberg said.
Lundeen decided not to wear rain gear in order to shoot as he had all season, but the rain started to slow as he started shooting.
In the opening round, Lundeen shot a perfect 25 of 25, standing in 3 inches of water, Dahlberg noted.
“Going there, I did not (think I would do so well),” Lundeen said. “But then I started shooting and got 10 in a row, and I thought, ‘I can do this.’”
“He was a wet and happy shooter after that first round,” Dahlberg said.
The second round started with the rain still slowing, but with wind gusts of up to 25 miles-per-hour, Dahlberg commented. Again, Lundeen shot a perfect score.
“He now had 50-straight, and was gathering a crowd,” Dahlberg said. “Lundeen was now the shooter to watch he had not missed a target.”
Starting the third round, Lundeen missed his fourth shot (number 54 of 100), but hit the next one and the rest for 24 of 25 for that round.
“By now, the rain had stopped, the crowd was growing, and the excitement was growing,” Dahlberg said. “At this point, his coaches, parents, and the crowd knew he was in the lead, but Lundeen had to shoot a perfect score to hold on to that lead.”
Lundeen took to trap field number four for his last and final round of 25 clay targets, as his coaches and parents held their breath with every shot in the gusting winds. But Lundeen made it look easy, shooting all 25 targets, for a final score of 99.
“It feels pretty good,” Lundeen said of being the state champion. “Knowing there were so many good [trapshooters] there, just to shoot with them was an honor.”
The four individuals who placed second at the state tournament were Colton Sherman from Brandon-Evansville, Hunter Hedtke from Monticello, Jona Friesen from Detroit Lakes, and Tommy Mavencamp from St. Michael-Albertville.
Mavenkamp was the favorite to win the tournament, having acheived the 2014 Overall High Average, and being ranked number one prior to the tournament.
A recap of this year’s trapshooting season can be found in this week’s sports section.