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Arkansas 4-H Shooting Sports teams bring home top places at Nationals

By Mary Hightower
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast Facts:

  • Arkansas teams make first trip to 4-H nationals
  • Arkansas teams claim two first-place finishes
  • Nationals fields 635 competitors from 32 states – a new record           

(424 words)

(Newsrooms: with art of team members at

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – The first trip by an Arkansas state team to the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships resulted in six top 10 placements - including three first-place finishes – and some head-scratching from surprised competitors. 

In years past, Arkansas sent teams from Lonoke and Sebastian counties, but had not previously fielded a statewide team for this event. 

“It is a rare thing for a state to come into this level of competition, with seven teams in their first year of attendance, and bring home this kind of hardware,” said Rex Roberg, Arkansas 4-H Shooting Sports Coordinator. “The comment, ‘Where in the world did this Arkansas bunch come from?’ was heard many times during the week.  

“I am so happy for and proud of these 4-H youth and their coaches,” he said. “ I can't say enough about the character, sportsmanship, and skill level of our youth and coaches. This is the finest bunch of youth and 4-H volunteer leaders I've ever been around.”  

Roberg also thanked “our two National 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassadors, Graycen Perkins and Kyle Russell. They are the cream of the crop, and represented Arkansas 4-H with class. Hats off to both of them!”  

He said that both were heavily involved in the presentation of daily and overall awards, assisting the National 4-H Shooting Sports Committee with coordination of the week’s events, and conducting activities at the Teen Social, which was the highlight of the week’s extracurricular activities. 

Record turnout

The members of the Arkansas 4-H team were among 635 registered competitors from 32 states – a record number -- at that the National Championships, held June 21-26 at Heartland Public Shooting Park in Grand Island, Nebraska. The teams competed in nine disciplines: Compound archery, recurve archery, air rifle, air pistol, .22 rifle, .22 pistol, shotgun, muzzleloading and hunting skills. 

Arkansas’ seven teams and 28 competitors scored high in air rifle and muzzleloader. 

The air rifle team of Avery Hannah, Asa Cox, James Kidd, and Mikaela Phillips won first place. Phillips won first overall individual and Cox took seventh place overall. The air rifle team was coached by Joanie Hannah of the Washington County 4-H Shooting Sports Club. 

Arkansas also won the muzzleloader competition with the team of Tristan Eike, Regan Puryear, Felecia Secrist and Matthew Harris. Puryear earned second place and Harris sixth place overall. Coached by Doug Secrist and David Joyner, both of Benton County.  

For more information, contact your county extension office or visit 4-H Shooting Sports. To see the full results of the 4-H National Shooting Sports championships, visit


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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