Benton County shooters take home top honors from 4-H competition
By Ryan McGeeney
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- More than 300 competitors show at 4-H shooting competition in Little Rock
- Benton County teams exceed at both junior and senior levels
- Event now in 18th year
LITTLE ROCK — A team of Benton County shooters took home top honors during the state’s annual 4-H shooting competition July 9-11 in Little Rock.
Hogan Bowen, Matthew Harris, Regan Puryear and Felecia Secrist, members of Benton County team OYST 1, won the overall senior team competition at the 4-H Range Events State Competition with a team score of 4,815.5 points. OYST (Ozark Youth Shooting Team) 1 was one of two senior and four junior Benton County OYST teams competing.
The Gold team from Greene County placed 2nd with 4376.5 points; the Banded Mallards of Faulkner County placed 3rd, with 4316.5 total points.
“Senior” shooters included those competitors ages 15 to 19. “Junior” shooters included competitors ages 9-14.
Shooters in the competition fired modern rifles, muzzleloader rifles, bows, shotguns, pellet rifles, air pistols and .22 caliber pistols during the competition. One member of the OYST 1 team, Puryear, also took top honors as the overall individual shooter at the competition., with an overall score of 1,659.5 points. Harris, another OYST 1 team member, took 3rd place in the senior overall individual competition, with a total score of 1,612 points.
The Banded Mallards’ Landon Casey took 2nd place, with 1,614.5 points.
Rex Roberg, a 4-H Youth Development program associate, said that no competitors were disqualified for safety violations throughout the match, a notable achievement at event with more than 300 participants, some as young as 9 years of age.
“The 4-H shooting program is as comprehensive and well-rounded as you’ll find,” Roberg said. “About 65 percent of the kids who compete will compete in every shooting event.”
The event determines which seniors will represent Arkansas 4-H at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Championship in Grand Island, Neb., in 2016, Roberg said.
Benton County teams also took 1st and 2nd places in the junior overall team competition, with OYST 1 and OYST 3 scoring a combined 3,602.5 and 3,269 points, respectively. The Poinsett County Cottonmouths took 3rd place with a combined 3,126 points.
The Cottonmouths’ Devon Allen took the 1st place award for junior overall individual shooter with 1,285 points. OYST 1’s Cadyn Meredith took 2nd place with 1,224 points, and Pulaski County’s Ryan Bowen placed 3rd with 1,210 points.
The annual match, which takes place each year at the C.A. Vines 4-H Center in Little Rock, began in 1997, and Roberg has been running the competition since 1998. Initially, the competition attracted 74 participants from 11 counties, Roberg said, but has grown steadily over the years.
“It’s just a whole different thing now,” he said.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service