Making history: This year’s skeet team becomes first from Routt County to return from state with 1st place | SteamboatToday.com

Making history: This year’s skeet team becomes first from Routt County to return from state with 1st place

Jayden Kemry helped lead the Routt County 4-H senior shotgun team to a first-place finish in skeet at the state competition in Colorado Springs. He was a perfect 50 out of 50 in skeet.
Sabrina Kemry/Courtesy

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After two of the team’s top members aged out last year, the pressure was on the remaining members of the Routt County 4-H shotgun team as they headed to the state competition held Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 in Colorado Springs.

“This year, a lot of them would ask me for extra practices,” coach Joe Taggart said. “So, we would be at the range at 6:45 a.m. before I went to work, and we would shoot for an hour. They devoted a lot more time than just their regular two practices a week; they asked for more practices and they got back to the basics.”

The hard work paid off as the senior shotgun team from Routt County took first place out of the 27 teams in skeet. The team included Kai Lancaster, Jayden Kemry, Dylan Taggart, River King and Chase Delamater.

Delamater and Lancaster both qualified to shoot all three events — skeet, trap and sporting clays — at the state competition based on their finishes earlier this summer at the Routt County 4-H Completion Day. Lancaster was the only member of the team to qualify for nationals (competitors must compete in all three events) after placing eighth in the final state results.

But this day was all about the team.

“For sure it felt like a team sport,” Kemry said. “When we took first place, we made Routt County history by being the first team to take first in skeet or any other event.”

It was also a big day for Kemry who not only pocketed first-place honors with his team, but also earned a first-place award as an individual in just his second state appearance. Last year, he placed 40th overall in sporting clays — a finish that motivated him to improve this time around.

“It definitely drove me to do better,” Kemry said. “One of my goals at the start of the year was to shoot a perfect score in either skeet or sporting clays, and I fulfilled my goal in skeet.”

At last year’s state meet, three participants in skeet shot perfect 50s, but this year, Kemry was the only one to accomplish the feat.

The senior skeet team from Routt County included Dylan Taggart, Chase Delamater, Kai Lancaster, River King and Jayden Kemry. The team became the first from Routt County to bring home a skeet title for the state competition, which was held in Colorado Springs Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.
Sabrina Kemry/Courtesy

Taggart felt like the success enjoyed by this year’s team has been building and thinks this year’s shooters wanted to live up to the examples set by former teammates Richard Hallenbeck and Tucker Limberg, who “aged out” after setting a standard for success the past several years.

Taggart said the members of this year’s team also wanted to make sure they continued to represent the team and Routt County well at the state-level competition. They also didn’t want to let their former teammates down.

“It’s funny because we give them the basics, and fine tune them,” Taggart said of coaching the team. “But a lot of the coaching is from the senior kids to the junior kids. They are like a big family — it’s a bunch of brothers that actually get along when we are out there. They really step it up and take care of each other.”

This year, the Routt County 4-H shooting program sent 30 members to the state competition, which was spread out over two weekends. The state air rifle, air pistol, muzzle loader and 0.22 rifle contests were held Aug. 17 and 18 in Pueblo. The 4-H archery contest was also held Aug. 17 and 18 in Colorado City, just south of Pueblo.

Kai Lancaster competes at the 4-H state shooting competition, held Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. The team won the skeet competition, and Lancaster qualified in the No. 8 position for nationals.
Sabrina Kemry/Courtesy

Skeet, trap, sporting clays and 0.22 pistol took place Aug. 31 and Sept.1 at the Pikes Peak Gun Club in Colorado Springs.

Routt County had five senior members, including Spencer Ashley (in air pistol, archery and 0.22 pistol), Leah Halder (in air rifle and 0.22 rifle), Taylor Kirby (in air pistol and 0.22 rifle) and Lancaster (shotgun), qualify for the national competition, which will be held next summer in Nebraska.

Other top finishes included Teagan Herold, who took third in the junior division of 0.22 pistol competition, and Ashley, who was fourth overall in the senior division.

Routt County’s 0.22 pistol team also took second overall in the junior division and fifth for the senior division, and the archery compound unlimited was third out of 24 teams in the senior division.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.


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