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Young marksmen aim for excellence

Youth lay on the ground and aim rifles

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The best teenage 4-H rifle shooters from Illinois gathered to compete in small bore rifle and air rifle competition at the 2023 4-H State Rifle Shoot held at Central Illinois Precision Shooters on Oct. 8.

The rifle shooting sports discipline involves both precision aim and shooting skills mastery.

“Rifle scores are determined by fractions of millimeters and the intense focus of these 4-H youth to concentrate so hard on a pinpoint shot done from standing, kneeling, and prone positions is very difficult,” says Curt Sinclair, University of Illinois Extension 4-H youth development specialist. “These 4-H youth are precision shooters.”

While individuals and counties compete, a team attitude prevails on the range.

“These youth had an incredible team attitude encouraging others from their 4-H club to do their best when it was their time to shine,” says Sinclair.   

In the Air Rifle Individual Division, Carson Underwood of DeKalb County placed first, Reese Harper of DeKalb County placed second, Willard Rozanas of Boone County placed third, Savannah Mirabal of Boone County placed fourth, and Allison Perkins of McHenry County placed fifth.

County placings are based on the top four individual 4-H shooters from one county.      

In the Air Rifle County Division, DeKalb County placed first, and McHenry County placed second.

In the .22 Small Bore Rifle Individual Division, Liadan Gray of Winnebago County placed first, Corbin Gray of Winnebago County placed second, Beckham Massier of LaSalle County placed third, Page Martin of McLean County placed fourth, and Rebecca Perkins of McHenry County placed fifth.

In the .22 Small Bore County Division, Winnebago County placed first, and LaSalle County placed second.

Top individual shooters in each discipline are eligible to go to the National 4-H Shoot in Grand Island, NE in June 2023 if they fit within the age requirements and have not attended previously in their discipline. 

To learn more about Shooting Sports programming with Illinois 4-H, please visit the Illinois 4-H website.

Illinois 4-H state shoots are supported in part by Illinois Ducks Unlimited.

SOURCE:  Curt Sinclair, Extension Specialist – 4-H Shooting Sports and Environmental Ed, University of Illinois Extension,
WRITER:  Carissa Nelson, Media Communications Manager, 4-H State Office,

About Illinois 4-H: Illinois 4-H is the flagship youth development program of University of Illinois Extension and administered through the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. 4-H grows true leaders, youth who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. The hands-on approach in 4-H gives young people guidance, tools, and encouragement, and then puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen. Independent research confirms the unparalleled impact of the 4-H experience, demonstrating that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. 

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.