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New Mexico 4-H shooting teams make their mark

The 4-H shooting championships were held recently and Doņa Ana teams placed first in five out of seven divisions. One of the team members went on to become ranked in the top 10 nationally at the 2011 National 4-H Invitational.



Several members of 4-H shooting teams from Doņa Ana County pose after winning five of seven categories at statewide competition. Pictured from left are Tristian Horner, Garrett Smelker, Sharlae Brown, Zach Salopek, Brent Carrillo, Sierra Salopek, Garrett Salopek, Cheyenne Tharp, Dylan Salopek, Savannah Salopek, Victoria Sedillo, Savannah Graves, and Brice Garrison. (Courtesy photo).

The initial success came at the New Mexico 4-H shooting sports contest where the Doņa Ana County shotgun team, compound archery team, smallbore pistol team, muzzleloader team and hunting challenge team placed first statewide. The Valencia County team took first place in the air rifle category and the Harding County team placed first in the smallbore rifle category.

"Shooting sports are one of the fastest growing projects in Doņa Ana County, with a very large enrollment for all age groups," said Travis Brown, a 4-H shooting sports leader. "These activities provide an opportunity for senior members to develop their skills as novice and junior participants, better preparing them for senior level competition."

At the National Invitational, held in June, Cody Sanchez of Valencia County ranked second in the air rifle competition. Sierra Salopek of Doņa Ana County made the top 10 ranking for hunting skills during the national competition, while Barret Ray of Harding County made the top 10 in the smallbore rifle category.

For rankings, New Mexico teams made the top 10 in smallbore rifle, smallbore pistol, muzzle loading, air rifle and hunting skills.