Local 4-H marksmen shoot at Jr. Olympics
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — Ten members or alumni of the Queen Anne’s County Marksmanship Club recently competed at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships in the rifle event. Held April 8 to April 20 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, the event requires qualifying scores from highly competitive shooters across the country. This year, 760 shooters competed from 49 different states. Maryland’s qualifying event was held at the U.S. Naval Academy in January of this year.
Qualifying and competing in the Men’s events were current club members Matt
Dorey in Air Rifle, Nick Dorey in Air Rifle, and Zach Schmidt in Air Rifle, 3-Position Smallbore Rifle and the Prone event. Alumni Nash Richardson with the U.S. Naval Academy Rifle Team competed in Air Rifle; Drew Cheezum and Mark Matheny, with the Ohio State University Rifle Team, and David Sink with the Jacksonville State University (Ala.) Rifle team, all competed in both Air Rifle, 3-Position Smallbore Rifle and men’s Prone match.
For the women’s events, senior Morgan Philips qualified and competed in both Air Rifle and 3-Position Smallbore, while Senior Jamie Hetrick and alumni Mekenna Richardson both competed in Air Rifle.
The competition is also divided into 3 categories – J3 for ages 12-14, J2 for ages 15-17, and J1 for ages 18-20. Although no medals were earned at this match, it is a privilege to have qualified and compete at the highest level of junior marksmanship.
Notably, Morgan Phillips finished 4th overall in the women’s 3-position smallbore rifle event out of 70 competitors. Alumni Drew Cheezum qualified in the top 8 men’s finals for both men’s prone and men’s 3-position small bore. Nick and Matt Dorey were both first time qualifiers to the national competition. Mark Matheny and Drew Cheezum both attended for the final time as they age out of the junior program this year.
Shooting has been an Olympic event since 1896 and is also represented in the winter Olympics with the biathlon event. There are 15 events in three disciplines: shotgun, rifle and pistol. The Queen Anne’s County 4-H Marksmanship Club was formed in the early 1970s and follows the Olympic-style shooting in the rifle discipline. The club has about 26 members.
The Queen Anne’s County 4-H Marksmanship Club trains eight times a month, every Wednesday evening and alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays, at the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Park. For more information on 4-H shooting sports, call the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Extension Office at 410-758-0166.
Women’s team, from left: Morgan Philips, Jamie Hetrick and Mekenna Richardson.
Men’s team, from left: Nick Dorey, Zach Schmidt, Drew Cheezum, David Sink, Nash Richardson, Mark Matheny and Matt Dorey.