A 17-year-old 4-H member from DeKalb County placed ninth out of 82 competitors in the small bore rifle division of the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championship held June 23-28 in Grand Island, Nebraska. Hunter Swanson is a 9-year member of the Genoa Prairie Gems 4-H Club.
There are three phases of the small bore rifle contest. Swanson finished sixth in the three-position (3P) division, 19th in the silhouette division, and 23rd in the CMP division on the way to his top-10 finish.
The four-person Illinois team all had solid rounds for the 3P division held on the final day of competition, resulting in a fourth place team placing in 3P. J. Couri of Kendall County finished 15th, Collin Haney of Woodford County finished 17th, and Shandre Willoughby of McLeany County finished 28th.
The shotgun competitors from Illinois had their strongest showing in the trap field on the third day of the event. Logan Hawkins of Grundy County claimed 10th place in trap shooting. He missed only four shots all day.
Michael Lemburg of Rock Island County finished 56th, and Dakota Larimore-Lamb of Piatt County finished 72nd in trap. The team finished 13th out of 30 trap shotgun teams.
Overall, Lemburg and Hawkins finished in the top half, finishing 60th and 64th, respectively. Larimore-Lamb finished in 104th place.
Alexander Ford of DuPage County was the lone Illinois 4-H recurve archery competitor. He finished in 37th place.
Illinois 4-H sent three members to compete in air rifle. Thomas Bennet of DuPage County earned 37th place, with Renne Gehrke of Ogle County and Benjamin Mahan of DeKalb County finishing 73rd and 75th, respectively.
The Illinois 4-H Foundation supports the Illinois 4-H shooting sports team competing in national competition.
“4-H shooting sports clubs are founded on the principles of positive youth development,” University of Illinois Extension 4-H Shooting Sports Specialist Curt Sinclair said in a news release. “And that means our emphasis is on the youth, first, to ensure they feel welcome in our program. Through shooting sports, we create opportunities for them to grow in leadership, be generous in service, and master skills in the 4-H shooting project.”