By Clay Sawatzke
Every grade has its standout athletes, and this year is no different. The class of 2012 offers running stars Erica Seidenkranz and Phil LaVallee, it gives us Caley Oquist, one of the schools most consistent and decorated athletes in decades, and the grade provides a whole group of girls who led the way to the first girls basketball state tournament appearance in school history.
But the Class of 2012 also gives us another standout, one who does most of her work without the signature Magic logo on her jersey (although she did a little of that too, with an outstanding softball season). That athlete is Mariah Michaelis, the third baseman on this year’s Magic softball team, but more notably one of the top trapshooters in the state, and even the entire country.
Trapshooting is a sport that’s very popular amongst some people, but completely unknown to others. The Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) stages events. The sport consists of shooting clay pigeons in three different events: singles, handicap (where you are moved away from the target based on your shooting percentage/skill level) and doubles (where clay pigeons are shot from two sides). Michaelis got into the sport around age 10, when she got her first gun. Her dad, Mike, was the first family member to become invested in the sport. Now it’s a full-fledged family activity. And in a family full of talented shooters, Mariah (who admits that older brother David, a 2002 All-American, is still probably better) has been the most accomplished as of late.
Michaelis has spent her high school summers traveling the state and the Midwest with family and friends, shooting trap wherever she can.
The progress has been noticeable for years, but all of the work and the time paid off in a big way last summer.
Even though she still qualified for juniors (16-18-year-olds) the incoming senior was registered for the female division at the state meet in Alexandria. That meant she would be squaring off against the best female shooters the state has to offer, and a couple of her mentors.
No matter for Michaelis, who turned in an outstanding state shoot, earning top honors amongst females in not one, not two, but all three shooting categories.
That was a good meet