Missouri 4-H earns top honors at national shooting sports championships

  • Published: Thursday, July 26, 2018

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – The Missouri 4-H shooting sports teams won first-place honors at the 2018 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships, June 24-29 in Grand Island, Neb.

This is the fourth time in the event’s 15-year history that Missouri has brought home the Tom Davison Championship Trophy for the top overall result by a state program.

More than 675 participants from 37 states competed in nine disciplines, demonstrating excellence in marksmanship, safety, responsibility and teamwork.

“It is such a privilege for me to be able to work with a group of talented young people like this,” said Jim Sappington, University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth development specialist and state 4-H shooting sports coordinator. “These young adults help each other overcome bad days both on and off the range. They’re not only teammates but friends, most of them for life.”

These are our future leaders, business owners, farmers, factory workers and maybe even Olympic shooters, he added. “Whatever they choose to do in life, from this point forward they’ll know that with hard work and dedication, they can accomplish almost anything.”

Over three days of competition, Missouri’s nine teams competed in three events within their shooting disciplines, developing a range of skills including leadership, self-discipline and wildlife conservation. Team members included youth from 23 Missouri counties: Boone, Callaway, Cass, Cole, Cooper, Dent, Franklin, Gasconade, Green, Grundy, Jasper, Lafayette, Lewis, Linn, Nodaway, Polk, Saline, St. Charles, Sullivan, Taney, Texas, Vernon and Warren.

Missouri teams placed in the top 10 in eight of the nine disciplines: air pistol, compound archery, hunting skills, muzzleloading, recurve archery, shotgun, small bore pistol and small bore rifle. Eleven individuals placed in the top 10 in their disciplines.

Overall results by discipline:

• Air Pistol Team (third overall): Laura Hogan (eighth), Michaela Brown, Haley Acton, Ryli Jetton and coach Bob McCollum.

• Air Rifle Team: Kaitlynn Vincent, Shelby Manning, Kyle Gann, Nicholas Newton and coach Zach Painter.

• Compound Archery Team (first overall): Noah Austin (seventh), Brandon Allen, Wesley Tyree, Brett Pennington and coach Terry Allen.

• Hunting Skills Team (second overall): Chris Bowles (third), Wyatt Link (fifth), Kaci Persell (eighth), Josie Brennan and coach Bill Athey.

• Muzzleloading Team (second overall): Thomas Endecott (third), Tyler Polley (fifth), Alec Krumm, Jacob Byers and coach Walter Branson.

• Recurve Archery Team (second overall): Carey Rodas (fifth), Lauren Haley (10th), Emily Bowles and coach Phil Threatt.

• Shotgun Team (seventh overall): Nolan Suthoff, Jacob Penrod, Kellen Smith, Pierce Ford and coach Keith DeBrot.

• Small Bore Pistol Team (second overall): McKinzie Branson (fourth), Ethan Crist (eighth), Trae Hoerrmann, Evan Howard and coach Delmer Croka.

• Small Bore Rifle Team (fifth overall): Jason Haselhorst, Kaitlyn Davis, Alex Smith, Trenton Bogguss and coach Mike Breshears.

Major support for the Missouri 4-H Shooting Sports team was provided by Larry and Brenda Potterfield, owners and founders of MidwayUSA in Columbia, Mo. Thanks to a recent challenge gift from the Potterfields, the Missouri 4-H Foundation is partnering with the MidwayUSA Foundation to establish and begin building a Missouri 4-H Shooting Sports endowment fund. The fund will support not only the state team but also the long-term growth of 4-H youth shooting programs in Missouri.

“The 4-H Shooting Sports Program is one of the largest shooting programs in the nation,” said MidwayUSA founder and CEO Larry Potterfield. “The endowment fund through the MidwayUSA Foundation will ensure the Missouri 4-H Foundation can continue supporting young shooters for years to come.”

Other major support was provided by Big Game Hunters Foundation, CZ-USA, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Friends of NRA, National Wild Turkey Federation, Orscheln Industries Foundation, Prairie Grove Shotgun Sports, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Sierra Bullets and Starline Brass.

For a full list of results from the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships, visit 4h.unl.edu/4hshootingsportsnationalchampionships.

For more information about the Missouri 4-H Shooting Sports endowment fund and ways to support it, contact Rachel Augustine at 573-884-7641 or [email protected].

About Missouri 4-H

4-H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for careers tomorrow. 4-H programs empower nearly 6 million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills.

University of Missouri Extension 4-H connects the technical knowledge of Mizzou to a community of more than 190,000 youths from across Missouri learning about the sciences, leadership, citizenship and skills for life. For nearly 70 years, the Missouri 4-H Foundation has been securing and managing funds for the MU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program, providing higher education scholarships and recognizing 4-H volunteers.

Photo available for this release:

For the fourth time, Missouri 4-H brought home the championship title at the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships, June 24-29 in Grand Island, Neb. Seven of Missouri's nine teams placed in the top five in their disciplines, including first place in compound archery. Eleven Missouri shooters ranked in the top 10 in the individual standings.

Writer: Rachel Augustine

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Rachel Augustine

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