ROGERS, Ark. One lesson everybody learned at the 45th Annual Daisy National BB Gun Match Championships was never count out the Marshall County 4-H Sharpshooters.
The Britton, S.D., BB gun shooting team captured its second consecutive title this weekend at Rogers High School on steady individual performances and overcoming some minor adversity.
"It's nice," Marshall County veteran coach Harlen Hilleson said. "When there were dozens of teams here on any given day who could win it, for us to come back, well, it wasn't a fluke last year, because we've done it two years in a row now. I can't say enough good things about this team. They took the tournament one shot at a time."
The Sharpshooters, made up of Shayla Olson, Jessie Allcock, Jena Lunzman, Lyndsey Effling, Natasha Albro, Aimee Allcock and Abby Flanery, predicted they'd bring home Daisy's coveted Traveling Trophy BB Gun this year.
"It's really exciting to take a new team and come back home with the gun," Marshall County coach Mike Kraft said. "We won the nationals last year and when we came home with that gun, these seven girls were sitting in our club and they said they were going to the nationals.
"I told them that was great, but they had to know what they needed to do to get here. We had standards they had to make and they made them. It was all the girls. We coached them, but it was all the girls who did it in the end."
Marshall County championship was highlighted by Olson's bronze medal in the standing position shooting event, but the team overcame adversity in the kneeling event to win it all.
"We nearly had a wreck in the kneeling event when we had a break on a rifle and had to change the sights," Hilleson said. "They still came through it and that takes concentration when you can overcome an equipment failure and still win.
"We couldn't be prouder of this team of girls. They started out early this year with the idea they were going to win. I don't know if they meant going this far or not, because they hadn't been a team until this year, but we are proud of them."
Overall, the Sharpshooters totaled 2,384.00 points to edge out second place Washington , Mo., Shooting Team, which scored 2,366.19.
"It's a big surprise," Washington coach Ken Pinnell said. "We didn't know how it was going to turn out until the end, so it was a big shocker."
The Missouri Shooting Team was led by Abigail Keeven's perfect score in the prone position shooting event on Saturday to earn a gold medal. Teammate Ally Manhart was awarded the bronze medal in the same event with a 99.07 score, while Keeven came back in the standing shooting position to get the silver medal by shooting 98.00.
Megan Moritz gave the team an added boost on Sunday morning by shooting a 99.09 and winning the gold medal in the sitting position shooting event.
"We had an exceptional team," Pinnell said. "Abby was amazing with that 100, but I knew we had the potential of being a top 10 team. We didn't know we would be so high in the standings. We were pleasantly surprised with a second place finish and we plan to be back next year."
Last year's second-place finisher, Penns Valley Shooting Team from Spring Mills, Penn., had a harder than expected match, but still garnered 2,355.25 points to take home third.
"We started with a young crew of kids and throughout the year they worked hard and put in a lot of effort," Penns Valley coach John A. Wert said. "Every time we shot, they learned a little bit and when we went to the state level, they showed their best.
"When we came here, we had some rough roads for a couple of days, but they worked hard and didn't let it bother them. Some of the shot their personal bests."
Entering the last day of competition, Penns Valley surged from 10th place after two events to take third behind a gold medal performance in the kneeling position shooting event by Paige Hockenberry, who was nearly perfect with a score of 99.00.
Andrew Hankinson won the silver with a 99.08 score, while Hockenberry took the bronze with a 99.07 in the sitting position shooting event on Sunday.
"We have a great bunch of kids," Penns Valley coach Lynn McCool said. "They worked extremely hard. They had difficulties through this weekend, but they overcame them and stuck with the program. Overall, they did a great job."
In other awards from the Daisy National match, Lydia Patterson from Wynadotte County 4-H Shooting Sports of Kansas City, Mo., was the overall aggregate individual winner with a total four-event score of 386.00.
Wynadotte County's team won the Paul T. Teifer Award for the highest combined score on the written test. Overall, 29 shooters had perfect scores on Daisy's written safety test that is required for all qualifying teams at the nationals.
Tennessee's 4-H "B" team won the Eddie Harper Memorial Award that recognizes the most improved team at the match. The 4-H team from Dickson, Tenn. scored 152 points higher than their qualifying score for the championship match.
Top 10 results
The TOP 10 Teams at the 45th Annual Daisy National BB Gun Championship match in Rogers:
10th place - Humbolt Sharp Shooters from Humbolt, South Dakota - 2325.00
9th place - Norton Rotary BB Gun Team from Norton, KS - 2327.04
8th place - Highmore Junior Shooters, Highmore, SD - 2328.07
7th place - Buffalo Youth Shooting Sports Team, Buffalo, Minnesota - 2335.00
6th place - Wyandotte County 4-H Shooting Sports Team, Kansas City, KS - 2348.00
5th place - Palmyra BB Gun Club, Palmyra, Penn. - 2350.00
4th place - Kirley Junior Shooters, Hayes, SD - 2351.06
3rd place - Penns Valley Shooting Team, Spring Mills, Penn - 2355.25
2nd place - Washington Missouri Shooting Team, Washington, Missouri - 2366.19
1st place - Marshall County 4-H Sharpshooters, Britton, SD - 2384.00
Bronze - Ally Manhart of Washington Missouri Shooting Team, 99.072
Silver - Andrew Ham, Brock's Gap Training Center 99.073
Gold - Abigail Keeven, Washington Missouri Shooting Team 100
Bronze - Shayla Olson, Marshall County 4-H Sharp Shooters 97.00
Silver - Abigail Keeven, Washington Missouri Shooting Team 98.00
Gold - Lane Archer, Norton Rotary BB Gun Team, 100
Bronze - Paige Hockenberry, Penns Valley Shooting Team 99.07
Silver - Andrew Hankinson, Penns Valley Shooting Team 99.08
Gold - Megan Moritz, Washington Missouri Shooting Team 99.09
Bronze - Erika Norris, Phillips/Rooks 4-H Shooting Sports 98.04
Silver - Avery Johnson, Kirley Junior Shooters 98.06
Gold - Paige Hockenberry, Penns Valley Shooting Team 99.00