(07/12/23) BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU baseball and women’s basketball teams aren’t the only champs in the state. Members of the Louisiana 4-H Shooting Sports Team are once again reigning national champions after defeating competitors from across the United States.
The team has placed first in three out of the past four national competitions, including 2019 and 2021, with a second-place finish last year and the 2020 event being canceled due to COVID restrictions.
This year’s event, held June 25 to 30 in Grand Island, Nebraska, involved 718 4-H youth between the ages of 14 and 18. Contestants came from 42 states, and Louisiana sent 35 participants and nine coaches to the competition.
4-H youth development instructor David Boldt said he was proud of the team’s accomplishments and stressed how difficult it is to win the overall competition as many times as the Louisiana delegation has.
“It was very exciting to see LSU baseball win the national championship early in the week and the Louisiana 4-H Shooting Sports program do the same at the end of the week,” he said. “The kids, coaches and parents were wonderful to be around. I’m very proud of their accomplishments.”
The nine discipline areas included air pistol, air rifle, compound archery, hunting skills, muzzle loading, recurve archery, shotgun, small-bore pistol and small-bore rifle.
The Louisiana delegation placed first overall, which is a sweepstakes award comprised of how the nine teams from a respective state placed.
Louisiana also had four teams finish first overall and six out of nine teams that placed in the top four. The categories in which Bayou State teams took home the top prizes were air rifle, hunting skills, small-bore pistol and small-bore rifle.
Two individuals placed first and 16 out of 35 Louisiana participants placed in the top 10 individually. The two first-place finishers were Westin Airhart from Sabine Parish in hunting skills and Paxton Mounts from Lincoln Parish in the small-bore rifle category.
Team Louisiana took home the 2023 National 4-H Shooting Sports Championship. This is the third time the team has won the title since 2019. Photo provided by David Boldt/LSU AgCenter
The Louisiana recurve archery team competes in the 2023 National 4-H Shooting Sports Championship. Photo provided by David Boldt/LSU AgCenter
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture