Aztec High's shotgun team earned top honors in the New Mexico State High School Clay Target League's first trap shooting season

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AZTEC — A team of Aztec High School students this spring dominated the first season of a new statewide clay target league, with two students earning top individual honors.

The school's shotgun team had the highest overall score for the first trap shooting season hosted by the New Mexico State High School Clay Target League, according to a press release from the league.

Aztec High is one of three teams in the league, in addition to Rio Rancho and Sue Cleveland high schools, both in Rio Rancho.

During the competition, five students are positioned at five stations and take turns firing their shotguns at clay pigeons launched into the air by a spring trap from a "house" in front of the shooters.

Each student fires five rounds at one station before moving to the next one, firing a total of 25 shots in each round of the competition.

Two of the eight members of the Aztec High shotgun team earned top honors for scoring the most points during the season.

Taking the title of the league’s top overall shooter, as well as top female shooter, was recent Aztec High graduate Lilly Eavenson. Ian Hull, who will be a sophomore at Aztec High, won the award for top male shooter and Amoret McCartney, who will also be a sophomore, finished in second place for top female shooter, behind Eavenson.

Eavenson said it was pretty cool that three of the top shooters in the state were from Aztec.

She also said school administrators supported forming the team.

"It’s just nice to know that we are able to do sports that include guns," Eavenson said.

The team competed at the shotgun range at the San Juan Wildlife Federation in Farmington and submitted the scores to the state clay target league.

McCartney, Hull and Eavenson are all members of the San Juan County 4-H Club and have competed in 4-H trap shooting competitions.

Eavenson started shooting with 4-H about five years ago when she was in eighth grade and competed at the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in June 2015 in Grand Island, Neb.

She said she enjoys the difficulty of shooting clay targets, not knowing where the pigeon will be launched and trying to adjust her shot when the wind is blowing.

Coach Rory Eavenson — Lilly’s 19-year-old brother — said he was happy with the team’s performance and hopes they perform well at the state competition Saturday at the Albuquerque Trap Club.

He said he was glad Aztec High formed the tam, which allows students to be recognized for their shooting skills.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.

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