SPECIAL TO THE PICAYUNE
ABILENE — The term “3-P” in Olympic-style shooting refers to “three-position,” but to the Burnet County 4-H shooting club, it stands for three-peat as the team dominated the District 7 competition April 25 for a third straight year.
Wyatt Harrell of Burnet was the only club senior (14- to 18-year-old division) competing this year. He shot a 162 for a new personal best but did not advance to the state shooting competition, which is for high school students only.
“This is his first year to compete against seniors that have been shooting for years,” said Burnet County 4-H shooting coach Guy Taylor. “Beating his personal best is a win for him.”
The Burnet County junior team (9- to 10 year-olds) of Larsen Harrell and Stoney Harrell, both of Burnet, Bryce Atkinson of Marble Falls and Caden Peay of Spicewood broke team records with a score of 392, edging out McCulloch County by 21 points.
The junior team won the district match in this age group for the third consecutive year and the fifth time in 10 years. Stoney Harrell was the high-point earner with 155 points over the second-place finisher. Atkinson placed fourth with a 134, just missing out on second place by two points. One point is equivalent to one shot out of 20 moving 0.2 millimeters in distance to a higher point. Peay and Larsen Harrell all finished in the top half of the results.
The intermediate team (11- to 13-year-olds) of McKenzie Boop of Llano County, Axy Horner of Burnet and Collin Hughes and Bryer Atkinson, both of Marble Falls, shot a combined score of 669 to beat its closest competitor and host Callahan County by more than 84 points.
Taylor, who has coached the squad for 15 years, said his shooters were prepared for a strategical move by Callahan County.
“It is a typical strategy of the host team to shoot early in the day when the winds are calm and temperatures are cooler and force the closest competitor to shoot later in the day with higher winds and hotter temperatures,” he said.
But that didn’t faze the Burnet County shooters since they’ve practiced in hot and windy temperatures since August 2014, the coach said.
Burnet County’s intermediate team won its age group for the third straight year and its score would have placed second in the senior division to advance it to the state championships if it could have competed.
Boop, who still has two years in the intermediate age group, almost won the overall competition after defeating all but one of the 14- to 18-year-old seniors. Clayton Peay of Spicewood, Skye White of Marble Falls and Cameron Bowles, who are first-year shooters, scored personal bests and finished in the top half of competitors.
The Burnet County shooters are now preparing for the Texas State Rifle Association Prone State Championships on May 23-24 at the Copperhead Creek Shooting Club, 7030 RR 1431 East in Marble Falls.
Shooters only use the prone position but must change target distances from 50 to 100 yards, read wind conditions and make adjustments, Taylor said.
This match will prepare them for the Firecracker 4800, a national caliber match, July 4-7 in Raton, New Mexico.