Moffat County archery, rifle shooters eyeing state contest |

Moffat County archery, rifle shooters eyeing state contest

Jacob Briggs aims for the target Saturday morning on the archery pitch of Wyman Living History Museum as part of the 4-H archery completion shoot. Young shooters handy with a bow and arrow shot for the chance to be part of the teams attending the Colorado State Fair during the weekend, while the .22 rifle shooters completed their event at Bears Ears Sportsman Club.

All it takes is a few holes through a target to earn a trip to the big time. However, getting those marks is easier said than done.

Moffat County 4-H shooting sports named its state teams in archery and .22 rifle Saturday following completion shoot events at the Wyman Living History Museum archery pitch and the Bears Ears Sportsman Club gun range.

Teams take the top four highest-scoring shooters, as well as two alternates, to the Colorado State Fair in August in Pueblo.

In the bow and arrow brigade known as the Sliver Slingers, Nick Pugh and Jordan Kainz took home top honors in the limited and unlimited categories of the senior compound bow events, respectively.

Christa Bird will attend state in the senior division for the recurve bow, while Brandon Madsen will do the same for the juniors.

Within the junior compound, Jerzey Landa won first in the unlimited and Tiffany Hill in the limited. Tiffany, 13, who attended state last year, was a little nervous about her chances this time, though it wasn't evident in her technique that won her the day.

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"I shot OK, but I had a little mess-up on a couple of them," she said, as she and her friends sat back to watch the seniors draw back their arrows near the end of the day.

Tiffany has been practicing the sport for two years, while teammate Winter Rogers, also 13, has been at it twice as long, though shooting for a crowd is still something she finds challenging.

"I don't like people watching me," Rogers laughed.

Nevertheless, she placed fourth in the compound unlimited to make the state team.

Across town, Tiffany's older sister, Angela, was busy squeezing the trigger in the senior bracket of the rifle competition for the first time.

"You have to take it a lot more serious," Angela said of the age transition.

She hit the mark by qualifying to represent Moffat County in all four parts of the day — three-position, four-position, hunt and scope — though it was seasoned shooter Dylan Villa who swept the seniors. A longtime participant in 4-H shooting who claimed the blue ribbon at state last year and recently returned from nationals, Villa is looking forward to competing one last time next month.

"I'm kind of relieved, but I'm going to miss it because it's been such a big part of my life for eight years," he said, noting he's used the same Savage target rifle that entire time.

Villa also made the archery team for unlimited compound as an alternate.

Gabrielle Ellis led all four rifle categories among the juniors, while novice shooter Donovan Converse was quite pleased with making the top four in the 4-P and being an alternate in the 3-P and scope all in his first year.

Making the time to practice is a job all in itself, the 13-year-old said, but another element of the sport is still tricky.

"Holding steady, when you're up there for a while with the gun, it gets heavy," Converse said. "With shotgun, you shoot and then you get a break, but in .22, you just keep shooting."

Completion shoots for air rifle and other firearms will be held in the following week, including the Saturday shotgun event at Craig Trap Club. Shooting coach Alvin Luker said he couldn't be prouder of the progress kids — some brand-new to the program — have made, all gaining more and more confidence with their equipment in recent months.

"You should see their scores improve throughout the season," he said. "It's incremental to them, but it's a big difference."

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

4-H shooting sports state qualifiers

— Based on completion shoot events Saturday in archery and .22 rifle, the following shooters will attend the Colorado State Fair, with teams of four plus up to two alternates.


Senior compound bow, limited

  1. Nick Pugh
  2. Ben Pugh
  3. Sam Walls
  4. Steven Walls
  5. Brandon Beason
  6. Kyla Pogline

Senior compound bow, unlimited

  1. Jordan Kainz
  2. Cutter Polly
  3. Weston Brady
  4. Jaci McDiffett
  5. Dylan Villa
  6. Brittany Schulze

Senior recurve traditional

  1. Christa Bird

Junior compound bow, limited

  1. Tiffany Hill
  2. Faith Berkey
  3. Brenna Knez
  4. Emma Knez
  5. Blake Duncan
  6. Everett Reglin

Junior compound bow, unlimited

  1. Jerzey Landa
  2. Kimber Wheeler
  3. Kelsey McDiffett
  4. Winter Rogers
  5. Jentry Bacon
  6. Garret Stockman

Junior recurve traditional

  1. Brandon Madsen


Senior 3-P

  1. Dylan Villa
  2. Hunter Rummel
  3. Angela Hill
  4. Eli Ellis
  5. Lane White

Senior 4-P

  1. Dylan Villa
  2. Hunter Rummel
  3. Eli Ellis
  4. Angela Hill
  5. Lane White

Senior hunt

  1. Dylan Villa
  2. Hunter Rummel
  3. Eli Ellis
  4. Angela Hill
  5. Lane White

Senior scope

  1. Dylan Villa
  2. Hunter Rummel
  3. Angela Hill
  4. Eli Ellis
  5. Lane White

Junior 3-P

  1. Gabrielle Ellis
  2. Joey Gates
  3. Laadan Rothermund
  4. Chloe Villard
  5. Tayla Siminoe
  6. Donovan Converse

Junior 4-P

  1. Gabrielle Ellis
  2. Chloe Villard
  3. Joey Gates
  4. Donovan Converse
  5. Tayla Siminoe
  6. Baryn Suessmeier

Junior hunt

  1. Gabrielle Ellis
  2. Joey Gates
  3. Chloe Villard
  4. Joseph Winters
  5. Laadan Rothermund
  6. Forrest Siminoe

Junior scope

  1. Gabrielle Ellis
  2. Laadan Rothermund
  3. Joey Gates
  4. Chloe Villard
  5. Forrest Siminoe