COLUMBIA, Mo. – Missouri 4-H shooting sports teams won top honors among at the 2015 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in Grand Island, Neb.
More than 500 of the nation’s most skilled 4-H members from 34 states competed.
Building on a long tradition of excellence, University of Missouri Extension 4-H members represented their state well when they returned with the Tom Davison championship trophy for the top overall result by a state program.
This is the second time in the event’s 13-year history that Missouri has unseated reigning champs Texas 4-H.
“The team members and coaches were very excited to bring home the trophy. It’s something tangible that represents the hard work and long hours they spent preparing for this competition,” said Gerry Snapp, 4-H youth development specialist.
Missouri took a full complement of teams ? nine teams of four youths each, and a volunteer coach for each team.
“But they brought home much more than a championship trophy,” Snapp said. “Nearly every 4-H member speaks of the experience as a highlight of their 4-H career. They made new friends, set personal goals and developed life skills that will help prepare them for future challenges and opportunities.”
Over three days of competition, teams and individuals competed in three events within their shooting discipline, learning lessons in leadership, safety and self-discipline. Members were recognized in each daily event, as well as for their overall effort in all three events.
Missouri teams placed in the top five in eight of the nine disciplines: air rifle, compound archery, recurve archery, hunting skills, muzzleloading, shotgun, smallbore pistol and smallbore rifle.
Overall, Missouri teams took first place in hunting skills and recurve archery. The hunting skills team of Stewart McCollum, Sydney Orton, Anthony McCollum and Allyson Parks swept their discipline, ranking first, second, third and fourth, respectively. Tad Terrell brought home a first place finish overall in recurve archery.
Shooting sports is among the largest projects in the University of Missouri Extension’s 4-H Program, Snapp said. It is one of the fastest-growing programs nationally and is one of the largest shooting education programs in the United States.
Generous support for the Missouri 4-H Shooting Sports national team was provided by the National Rifle Association, Foundation, Brenda and Larry Potterfield, the Big Game Hunters Foundation of St. Louis, Starline Brass, Sierra Bullets, Prairie Grove Shotgun Club, Powder Horn Guns & Sporting Goods, the Missouri 4-H Foundation, and the Missouri Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Competition participants included Missouri 4-H youths from the following counties: Boone, Cass, Clinton, Cole, Gasconade, Greene, Grundy, Harrison, Jasper, Lafayette, Linn, Macon, Marion, Polk, Pulaski, Saline, St. Charles, Texas and Warren.
For a full list of results from the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships, visit http://4h.unl.edu/4hshootingsportsnationalchampionships.