Right on target: Moffat County 4-H shooting teams make mark at state
The summertime ended well for the members of the Moffat County 4-H shooting teams, as rifle, pistol, archery and shotgun earned big results at the Colorado State Championships.
The senior .22 rifle group had the best overall results during the August event in Pueblo, with team wins for the 4P sporter, hunt and scope events for the squad of Angela Hill, Joey Gates, Gabrielle Ellis, Chloe Villard, Forrest Siminoe and Isaiah Miles.
Angela Hill led the team and the entire field in the 4P round, with Gates doing the same in the scope event.
The junior rifle team — Blake Hill, Joash Miles, Levi Greenhow, Hannah Miles, Gabriel Miles and Jamie Perez-Young — also earned a team victory, winning the scope category as a group, led by Blake Hill in third individually, also earning third in the 4P sporter round and fourth in the hunt rankings.
The .22 pistol teams took sixth among juniors — Jayden Hill, Makylee Ott, Zayne St. Martin and 11th among seniors — Tayla Siminoe and Rylee Villard.
The junior shotgun team — consisting of Stone Balleck, Will McStay, Magnum Gustin, Wyatt Dade and Abbie Blackwell — stayed high in the group rankings in trap, sporting clays and skeet at second, third, and fourth, respectively, during the Labor Day weekend event in Colorado Springs.
The sharp showing in the trap category led to a state championship for Balleck, with McStay close behind in fourth.
The senior shotgun group had their best team result in trap as well, with Jentry Bacon, Ty Blackwell, Karla Pitha and Laadan Rothermund earning fourth.
Blackwell’s combined score across the three disciplines put him on the short list for national qualification for next summer, which will be the second year in a row shooting at that level after archery nationals earlier this year.
Another solid bow showing at state — in August in Colorado City — saw him second overall in the senior compound unlimited category, with his fellow archers Alexander Nichols, Blake Duncan, Tiffany Hill and Christopher Hill earning a team win.
At 18th as a group, Haley Boatman and Alyssa Duncan were the lone Moffat County shooters for the senior compound limited group.
The junior compound unlimited team had a second-place finish with Brook Wheeler third individually and Kaeden Martinez 10th amid teammates Caitlyn Adams, Charles Berkey, and Abbie Blackwell.
A smaller compound limited team of Logan Duncan, Talus Folks and Kaison Martinez was 17th.
While junior shooters will have to wait until they reach the senior age group to qualify for nationals, Joey Gates said she’ll likely be back at the big time in the air rifle, already shooting the long rifle nationally earlier this summer.
Though a small air rifle team of herself, Angela Hill and Forrest Siminoe took fifth as a group, she was able to get sixth individually in combined results and a qualification for next summer.
“Air rifle is a lot different since it’s indoors and you don’t have to worry about as much in the long rifle,” she said. “I might try doing pistol next.”
Gates added the state competition was the “last big hurrah” for Angela Hill, who has aged out of 4-H shooting and has had her allotment of national competition in multiple disciplines.
Still, it’s been quite a ride, Angela said.
“I’m so appreciative of my coaches and all that they do. They’ve done so much to support me and my team and everything that they’ve gone through,” she said.