Rushmore National Invitational
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Shooting sports has looked different since the start of COVID, which included Daisy cancelling the National BB Gun Championships normally held in Rogers, Arkansas for two consecutive years. Faced with another year of kids losing the opportunity to compete on a national stage, a group of coaches from South Dakota, Georgia and Texas became the administrators of the National Competitive Youth BB group and put together a competition. The event was named the Rushmore National BB gun Invitational and held on July 1-3, in Fort Pierre, SD. Realizing that some kids had aged out the previous season and missed their final year due to the pandemic, the event staff opted to host a special match for those older kids who wanted to shoot one last time. This portion of the event was named the Out To Pasture (or OTP as it became known) match and open to anyone who aged out.
The match attracted over 200 shooters from nine states stretching from Pennsylvania to Texas and Georgia to Oregon. Although not an official national championship, many of the best teams and finest youth marksmen in the nation were present including the National Record setting team from Walton, GA, an undefeated team from Marshall County, SD, and perennial power Pierre Junior Shooters. By the start of the match there was a sense of victory for everyone that we were finally able to get together, not just as competitors, but as a shooting sports family.
Safety Safety Safety!
At the heart of the Daisy Program is the rules and safety test. The 50-question/100 point test is part of the competitors aggregate score and is the first stage of the match. Teams take great pride in the safety component of their programs, and that fact stood out with competitors answering safety questions correctly over 95% of the time. The event presented a high team test award which went to Marshall County, SD who scored a perfect 500 on the test. Outstanding achievement awards were presented to the following athletes for scoring perfect 100’s on the test:
Jodyn Bawek-Spink Counting Shooting Sports, Jayden Bender-Marshall County 4H Sharpshooters, Hunter Biel-Marshall County 4H Sharpshooters, Austin Crawford-Marshall County 4H Sharpshooters, Clay Crawford-Marshall County 4H Sharpshooters, Grant Cutler-Marshall County 4H Sharpshooters, Zoe Dissing-Humboldt Sharpshooters, Rachel Haines-Montgomery County 4-H Shooting Sports, Mason Harper-Walton County 4-H, Sydney Harper-Walton County 4-H, Mya Heinje-Roberts County 4-H, Evan Lubick-Gallatin Valley Sharp Shooters, Skyler Ruth-Pierre Junior Shooters, Maura Sharer-Penns Valley, Paige Sporrer-Pierre Junior Shooters, Mason Stoeser-Pierre Junior Shooters, Clayton Weber-Lake County Aces
The highlight of the prone match was the perfect target shot by Anna Bressler of Penns Valley, PA. That target earned her the right to attempt a national record in the prone position. The current record is a perfect target plus an additional 19 shots in the 10 ring. Unfortunately, the attempt came up short but made for a memorable moment for coach and athlete. The remainder of the top 10 were within 2 points of Anna and were led by Addison Heinje of Roberts County 4H, SD. Addisons trip to the podium marks a first for Roberts County in a National BB gun match. Prone scores were incredibly high for the match with nearly half the athletes posting at least a 95.
In the OTP event, Daisy Teague of Walton County won the position with Skyler Ruth of Pierre and Allison Merritt of the Southern 7 taking second and third, respectively.
1 Anna Bressler Penns Valley 100 - 8
2 Addison Heinje Roberts County 4-H 99 - 8
3 Naya Talarico Gallatin Valley Sharp Shooters 99 - 8
4 Peyton Gewedik Buffalo Youth Shooting Sports 99 - 8
5 Emily Wert Penns Valley 99 - 7
6 Carly Stover Penns Valley 99 - 6
7 Hazel Russell Montana Yellowstone County 4-H 98 - 8
8 Lucky Myers Montgomery County 4-H Shooting Sports 98 - 8
9 Clay Crawford Marshall County 4H Sharpshooters 98 - 8
10 Anna Coleman Dead Eye Shooters 98 - 7
The standing match was won by Ireland Templeton of the Pierre Junior Shooters. The score of 98-4 is impressive on its own, but the path she took to get it made her coaches smile. One of the most frequent messages and important life lessons taught and practiced in competitive shooting is moving on from a bad shot. Ireland suffered a gun malfunction in the prone position that resulted in a shot falling to the 2 ring. Ireland came into the event with a realistic expectation she would have a shot at the podium, dropping a 2 in prone created a big hole to dig out of. After a very brief pep talk, she shook it off and went to work in standing winning the position and keeping her teams hopes of a title alive. A great memory for this young ladies last BB gun match, Ireland ages out of BB gun after this season.
In the OTP event, Daisy Teague of Walton County won the position with Montana Marlow of Marshall County and Carter Halvorson of the Oregon Timber beasts taking second and third, respectively.
1 Ireland Templeton Pierre Junior Shooters 98 - 4
2 Madison Baines Walton County 4-H 96 - 4
3 Mason Dunlap Penns Valley 95 - 5
4 Mason Stoeser Pierre Junior Shooters 95 - 4
5 Sydney Harper Walton County 4-H 95 - 4
6 Sterling Powers Gallatin Valley Sharp Shooters 95 - 4
7 Clay Crawford Marshall County 4H Sharpshooters 95 - 2
8 Brookelynn Mallett Lake County Aces 94 - 4
9 Michaela Hampl Walton County 4-H 94 - 4
10 Julia Winstrom Dead Eye Shooters 94 – 4
The highlight of the sitting match was Jayden Bender of Marshall County, SD shooting a perfect score. Similar to Anna Bressler, this earned her the right to attempt a national record in the sitting position. The current record is a 100 with 9 additional shots in the 10 ring. Unfortunately, her effort also fell short but provided a chance for her and her coach / dad to take one last trip to the line before her career ended. As a 15 year old, this was Jayden’s final match.
In the OTP event, Skyler Ruth of Pierre won the position with Daisy Teague of Walton County and Carter Halvorson of the Oregon Timber beasts taking second and third, respectively.
1 Jayden Bender Marshall County 4H Sharpshooters 100 - 8
2 Emmy Serock Montana Yellowstone County 4-H 99 - 7
3 Brookelynn Mallett Lake County Aces 99 - 7
4 Josiah Hays Pierre Junior Shooters 99 - 6
5 Paytyn Marlow Marshall County 4H Sharpshooters 98 - 8
6 Leah Lecarno Oregon Timber Beasts 98 - 7
7 Paige Sporrer Pierre Junior Shooters 98 - 6
8 Brayden Bartley Penns Valley 98 - 6
9 Evan Lubick Gallatin Valley Sharp Shooters 98 - 5
10 Skyler Plucker Humboldt Sharpshooters 98 – 4
The final match of the event was the kneeling position. Clay Crawford of Marshall County SD was on a roll and put the final punctuation mark on his career by winning the position and ultimately securing the top spot on the podium for aggregate score. In third place was Erika Symens who suffered the same challenges in prone as Ireland Templeton. A malfunctioning gun resulted in a single point on bull 4 greatly reducing her chances at taking the podium as an individual.
In the OTP event, Jasmine Hays of Pierre won the position with Daisy Teague of Walton County and Quinten VanDyke of the Oregon Timber beasts taking second and third, respectively.
1 Clay Crawford Marshall County 4H Sharpshooters 98 - 8
2 Ethan Bates Gallatin Valley Sharp Shooters 98 - 7
3 Erika Symens Marshall County 4H Sharpshooters 98 - 6
4 Bethany Shirley Walton County 4-H 97 - 5
5 Samuel Sterling Pierre Junior Shooters 97 - 3
6 Brookelynn Mallett Lake County Aces 97 - 2
7 Lucky Myers Montgomery County 4-H Shooting Sports 96 - 6
8 Cheyenne Braaten Roberts County 4-H 96 - 6
9 Caden Carter The Southern 7 96 - 5
10 Maura Sharer Penns Valley 96 – 4
The aggregate match was won by Clay Crawford of Marshall County, SD. Having already been to the podium for the test and every position except sitting (he missed it by 1 point), he put the final punction mark on his career by running away with the Rushmore Match with a final score of 488-23. In second place was Evan Lubick of Gallatin Valley Sharp Shooters, MT with a score of 481-16. Places second through twelfth were separated by 4 points and many of the placings were decided by center shots.
1 Clay Crawford Marshall County 4H Sharpshooters 488 - 23
2 Evan Lubick Gallatin Valley Sharp Shooters 481 - 16
3 Jayden Bender Marshall County 4H Sharpshooters 480 - 23
4 Brookelynn Mallett Lake County Aces 480 - 15
5 Josiah Hays Pierre Junior Shooters 480 - 15
6 Sterling Powers Gallatin Valley Sharp Shooters 479 - 17
7 Maura Sharer Penns Valley 478 - 19
8 Skyler Plucker Humboldt Sharpshooters 478 - 16
9 Sydney Harper Walton County 4-H 478 - 12
10 Caden Carter The Southern 7 477 – 18
In the OTP event, Daisy Teague of Walton County handily won the match with a 489-20. Coming in second and third were teammates from the Pierre Junior Shooters, Skyler Ruth and Jasmine Hays. After the match, Daisy recapped her experience by saying, “this last BB match was an amazing bonding experience with my team. I was able to come back from the cancelled season and win it all. Coming out to South Dakota for this last match was amazing and a great experience overall.”
Starting the match in first place with a perfect team test score of 500, Marshall County, SD never relinquished the lead and handily won the match with a score of 2388-92. Slipping into second place with their highest team score of the season at 2388-72 were the Pierre Junior Shooters of Pierre, SD. At only 3 points behind and rounding out the top three was Gallatin Valley Sharp Shooters Gold of Bozeman, MT with a score of 2377-77.
1 Mashall County Team 1 Britton SD 2388 - 92
2 Pierre 1 Pierre SD 2380 - 72
3 Gallatin Valley Sharp Shooters Gold Bozeman MT 2377 - 77
4 Walton County 4-H Walton GA 2367 - 64
5 Penns Valley Team 1 - Spring Mills PA 2362 - 80
6 Humboldt Sharpshooters Humboldt SD 2357 - 75
7 Aces Madison SD 2350 - 68
8 The Southern 7 Blackshear GA 2342 - 69
9 406 Marauders Billings MT 2313 - 69
10 Montgomery County 4-H Shooting Sports Montgomery TX 2306 – 67
IN THE END
With the close of the match came a realization to many. This was much more than a match. It was a great opportunity for these young kids to get a seat on the national stage. It was a chance for them to get to know and spend time with young shooters like them from across the country. It was also a great opportunity for the parents and coaches to meet people from other teams and come together as one big BB family. For those who organized the match and many others, it was different than the annual Daisy match because it was a coming together of people across the nation to pull something together for these kids. The organic nature of how all this came to be shows how strong the love for this sport and these young shooters is. One of the organizers, Jennifer Harper, said, “we had the opportunity to meet and work with some amazing people to put this together and we have built lifelong friendships in the process. The camaraderie at this match was unlike any other that I have been a part of and I am very thankful to have had this experience.” To those shooters who will be moving on, we wish you the best of luck on your next adventure. To the shooters that will be returning to BB next year, we look forward to seeing you at the Daisy match in Rogers, Arkansas in 2022.
[See photo gallery here]
Categories: BB Gun