By: Shawn O’Brate
DOUGLAS – Just a few weeks ago the 4-H Wyoming State Shooting Championships took place in Douglas, with many different Fremont County names gracing the list of winners and runner-ups across a multitude of shooting and archery events.
Over 200 people cheered on the kids during the week after Independence Day when kids from all over Fremont County packed their bags, cleaned their rifles and headed off to Douglas for the annual State Shoot to compete in the Junior divisions, Intermediate divisions, and the Senior divisions.
A few of those names might sound familiar. Names like Evan Baker, son of Riverton Raiders assistant coach and Lander Little League board president Eric Baker.
Baker, a ten-year old with a passion for competitive shooting, is in his second year performing in this state competition, finishing top-five in many categories over the two-year period and winning the 4-H Wyoming State title in the Air Pistol category for Juniors this year.
“It’s awesome to see him quit baseball and go into shooting and actually get a title from it so quickly,” coach Baker said, “it’s just awesome, I’m super proud of him.”
Baker competed in a handful of events this year in Douglas, including the .22 rifle shoot where he ranked third behind his cousin–yet another Fremont County competitor–Jaxson Hubble, who placed second.
Hubble and Baker secured a handful of accolades on that sunny day in Douglas, with Baker returning home with his first place position in the Air Pistol category, a second place finish in the shotgun singles, and third in both the .22 rifle and handicap shotgun.
But it wasn’t just the Baker family who participated, and it wasn’t just as individuals either.
Baker, Hubble, Logan Milek and William Winn helped Fremont County place second in the team .22 Rifle shoot in the Junior/Intermediate division. They weren’t done there though, with Hubble being replaced by Ryan Small the same group of Fremont County shooters took third in the team Junior Air Pistol category, coming in just behind Park County’s group of kids.
Not only that, a group of Fremont County children also dominated the Junior Archery competition, placing first in the B-Team category with a massive score of 889 points–the most by any A or B team in the Junior division. Fremont County also showed out in the C-Team archery events, finishing first with a similar score (890).
When they weren’t competing in team events the individual skills were put on show by all sorts of ages around Fremont County. Jason Martin took second in the Junior/Intermediate Air Rifle category, finishing above kids from counties like Hot Springs, Park, Laramie, Goshen and Albany. Brynlee Cory and Wade Hardman, both from Fremont, took third and fourth (respectively) in the Class B archery category and Devyn Fillin finished on top of everybody else in the Junior Outdoor Skills category. Not to mention, Easton Freese–another Fremont County Junior–placed first in the .22 rifle light target and the air rifle light target categories.
In the older categories Milek competed in more than just team events, and he took fourth in the Intermediate Air Pistol category and sixth in the .22 rifle category as well. Lillyan Hamilton placed 8th in the Air Pistol event for seniors and Kaylee Cory took first in the Class B Intermediate Archery category.
There was also Don Martin out of Fremont County, placing first in the Intermediate Outdoor Skills category. On top of all these fantastic finishes there were plenty of competitive spirit, learning experiences, and top-10 to top-15 finishes for many more Fremont County children.
Overall, the entire event seemed to be filled to the brim with Fremont County shooters and archers and it showed on the leaderboards at the end of the three-day event. Congratulations to all the Fremont County kids who made it to Douglas and competed in the annual event, and a big congrats to those that placed and are able to use this huge accomplishment in the future.