Devils Lake shooters score well in 4-H National Shooting Sports Championship
GRAND ISLAND, Neb.—North Dakota's Air Rifle Team placed first overall among 26 teams, and Brandon Alexander of Devils Lake won the national individual air rifle title during the 4-H National Shooting Sports Championships, held June 27-29 in Grand Island, Neb.
The Girls' Air Rifle team, consisting of Hannah Morstad and Addisyn Meyer of the Ramsey County 4-H Shooting Sports Program, finished 14th as the only two team members in a 16-team field mostly comprised of four-person squads. Ramsey County's 4-H Shotgun Team earned a fifth-place finish in the 28-team field based on its aggregate scores in sporting clays, skeet and trapshooting events.
Here's a closer look at each of the teams.
Air rifle champions
The air rifle team earned its top finish based on scores in three-position, 40-shot standing and silhouette matches.
Team members Jacob Vaagen, Christopher Morstad, Maria Rosa-Nieves and Alexander all are members of the Ramsey County 4-H Shooting Sports Program, which partners with the Lake Region Shooting Sports Association.
Rosa-Nieves, Alexander and Vaagen were the top three finishers in the three-position match, contributing to the team's fourth-place finish in the day two 40-shot standing match and first-place finish in the day three silhouette match..
Rosa-Nieves won the three-position match with a score of 636, edging Alexander, who finished second with a score of 635.6 in the field of 95 competitors from across the U.S. She scored another narrow victory in the 40-shot standing match with a score of 452.2, a mere one-tenth of a point in front of Alabama shooter A. Dawson Kissick, who fired a 452.1 for second place.
Alexander fired a high score of 32 out of 40 to win the silhouette match by a wide margin over the other 94 competitors. Alexander's aggregate score in the three matches earned him the national individual championship, while Rosa-Nieves placed seventh overall.
Girls air pistol results
As in the air rifle competition, the three highest scores in each event determined the team score, but since Morstad and Meyer were the only members of the North Dakota air pistol squad, they only could post two scores for their team aggregate.
Morstad fired a 277 and Meyer a 244 to place 14th among the 16 teams entered in the three-position match. They also placed 14th in the silhouette match, where Morstad fired a 22 and Meyer a 19. Morstad fired a 336 and Meyer a 313 in the 40-shot standing match to finish 15th. If the 40-shot standing team competition would have been based on the best two scores on a team of four, the Ramsey County girls would have placed sixth among the 16 teams that fired the match.
At the end of the three days, Morstad earned 23rd place overall and Meyer finished 33rd overall among the 57 competitors who fired the matches.
Top 5 shotgun finish
Also representing North Dakota in the national tournament was the Ramsey County 4-H Shotgun Team, consisting of Dylan Durbin, Bryer Erickson, Spencer Frith and Mason Hanson. The team's aggregate score in sporting clays, skeet and trapshooting competitions earned them a fifth-place finish in the 28-team field.
Durbin placed sixth among the 116 individual competitors in the first day's sporting clays event, and the team score was good for seventh among the 28 teams. The team placed eighth in the second day's skeet match and ninth in the third day's trapshooting competition.
Their overall aggregate of the three matches placed them fifth among the 28 teams, a great accomplishment in the national competition. Many of the state shotgun teams are comprised of the top four shooters out of 10,000 or more young people who compete in their state 4-H championships to earn their way to the nationals each year.