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West Virginia 4-H’ers head to national shooting sports championships

Two teens, holding air rifles aimed at targets participate, in West Virginia's state 4-H Shooting Sports Championships at WVU's mobile rifle range in Morgantown.

A team from West Virginia University Extension’s 4-H youth development program will represent West Virginia during the 2022 National 4-H Shooting Sports Championships in Grand Island, Nebraska, June 26-July 1. 

Thirteen West Virginia 4-H members who participate in the state shooting sports program have qualified to compete in four disciplines at the national event. This event, which is hosted by Nebraska 4-H, will bring more than 860 4-H’ers from across the country to compete in nine different disciplines. 

Competing in the two-day air rifle competition, which includes prone, kneeling, standing and silhouette events, are Jessica Gregory (Monongalia County), Austin Sponaugle (Wirt County) and Alyssa Tennant (Wood County).  
Shane Arthur and Alexander Chernauskas (both of Monroe County), JW Swiger (Doddridge County) and Anthony Wyle (Greenbrier County) will compete in shotgun, which includes 100 trap, skeet and sporting clays target.
Brothers Justin and Brandon Mace (Doddridge County) will represent the team in archery, including the FITA, field and 3D archery events.

For the first time four West Virginia 4-H’ers will compete in the muzzleloader event. The team of Jack Hutson and Zane Weaver (both of Doddridge County), Andrew Means (Clay County) and Ethan Fullen (Monroe County) will compete in the 50-yard bullseye, 25-yard bottles, critters and silhouette events.  

“Our shooting sports program allows youths to learn from certified experts about the safe and responsible use of sporting equipment, including muzzleloader, air pistol, air rifle and archery,” Don Dransfield, WVU Extension 4-H agent, Monroe County and shooting sports instructor said. “In addition to learning about the equipment, we also teach young people about wildlife conservation, socially acceptable use of firearms, sportsmanship and natural resources, while also helping them gain self-confidence. It’s wonderful to see such a strong group of young people representing our state 4-H program at the national competition.”

In 2020, the Robert Hayhurst Shooting Sports Complex opened at WVU Jackson’s Mill. This new, state-of-the-art complex allows youths to participate in education and training activities, as well as serves as a host site for statewide events for youth competitions.

The focus of all 4-H programming is the development of youths as individuals and as responsible and productive citizens. The National 4-H Shooting Sports Program stands out as an example in which youth learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of hunting and archery, and much more. The West Virginia 4-H Shooting Sports Program is open to youths ages 9 to 21. To learn more about the program, as well as other youth development activities, including 4-H camps, clubs, STEM and other programs, contact your local WVU Extension office.

To learn more about WVU Extension programs, visit, or contact your local WVU Extension office. Keep up with the latest in WVU Extension news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by following @WVUExtension.    

Photo by WVU Extension: Participants in the West Virginia 4-H Shooting Sports program compete during a state championship event, which was held on the WVU campus' rifle range.


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Tara Curtis 
WVU Extension