Youth from North Dakota’s Ramsey and Stark counties brought home individual and team honors from the recent 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships in Grand Island, Neb.
“This year was the strongest representation in multiple disciplines in the history of the program,” says Adrian Biewer, the youth development specialist in the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s Center for 4-H Youth Development who oversees the 4-H shooting sports program.
The North Dakota 4-H’ers competed in small-bore rifle, air pistol and black powder competitions. Those placing were:
Brandon Alexander, Ramsey County - fourth overall in small-bore rifle, with a second in the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) three-position 50-yard match, eighth in the CMP three-position slow/rapid-fire match and 12th in silhouettes
Maria Rosa-Nieves, Ramsey County - sixth overall in small-bore rifle, with a fifth in the CMP three-position 50-yard competition, 10th in silhouettes and 28th in the CMP three-position slow/rapid-fire match
Max Shuh, Ramsey County - 11th overall in air pistol, with a third in the slow-fire competition, fifth in the rapid-fire match and 22nd in silhouettes
Kail Larsen, Stark County - fifth overall in muzzleloader, with a first in the 25-yard novelty shoot, second in the 50-yard bull match and 15th in silhouettes
Ramsey County’s archery team finished 14th among 25 teams. Team members placing individually were:
Erin Morstad - 13th in the World Archery Federation (FITA) archery competition, 22nd in field archery and 34th in compound archery
Christopher Morstad - 14th in FITA competition, 35th in compound archery and 40th in field archery
Shaelynn Tofte - 67th in compound archery
Mason Hanson - 86th in compound archery
Alexander, Rosa-Nieves, Shuh, Erin and Christopher Morstad, Tofte and Hanson represented the Ramsey County Shooting Sports Club. Larsen represented the Stark County Shooting Sports Club.
The North Dakota youth faced stiff competition. One hundred youth competed in the compound archery event, while 82 youth competed in the small-bore match, 62 participated in air rifle and 57 competed in muzzleloader.
North Dakota 4-H shooting sports participants earn the privilege of attending the national championships by being a member of the highest placing team or achieving a qualifying score individually in a discipline in a state qualifying match.
“Attending the national championships is a culmination of years of dedication and effort by participants and coaches,” Biewer says. “Youth can only participate once in their lifetime in that discipline at the championships.”
The championships are a multidiscipline competition that includes archery, air rifle, small-bore rifle, shotgun, hunting skills, muzzleloader and pistol matches. Each discipline has three competitive matches during the week, and the competitors receive individual and team awards for each competition. Participants receive an overall match award for the cumulative scores of the discipline on the last day.
“We can be very proud of the competitiveness of our shooters and the volunteers who spent numerous hours instructing and volunteering their time to travel to the nationals with them,” says Bill Hodous, an Extension agent for Ramsey County who accompanied the North Dakota youth as team match coordinator.