Oak Creek students represent Colorado at 4-H National Championship

Teagan Herold and Leah Halder celebrate at the award ceremony of the 2022 4-H National Championship in Grand Island, Nebraska.
Amanda Laman/Courtesy photo

Two Oak Creek teenagers traveled to Grand Island, Nebraska, to compete in the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships from June 26 to 28. 

Leah Halder, 18, competed in .22 rifle and qualified for nationals for the second-straight year, while Teagan Herold, 15, earned his first nod to nationals after placing in the state competition in compound archery.

In order to qualify for nationals, Colorado requires you to place at your county shoot and in the state competition in your discipline.

“It meant a lot to me,” Herold said. “For one, you only get one chance at nationals because they don’t let you ever go again (for the same discipline), so you get one chance. And two, it’s another shoot under my belt and more experience.”

Herold earned his bid to nationals with a first-place finish at the Colorado State Championships in compound archery. Out of 113 competitors, Herold finished fifth overall individually in the nation.

He came in eighth in FITA, a form of target shooting competition used in international and world championship events, he finished fourth in field course and earned a 16th place finish in the three-dimensional competition. 

Herold stressed the difficulty of the 3D competition. Between the wind, humidity and difficulty of the targets, many of the shooters struggled and became discouraged. 

Herold was not too happy with his 3D performance on day three, but was satisfied with his overall placing.

“It felt pretty good actually because day three was not my best day… I went to the ceremony the next day and got fifth overall and that was okay. That’s not bad, but I could have done better,” Herold said.

Herold has been shooting archery since he was nine years old with a simple bow but as he continued to compete, he found a love for the sport and upgraded to more advanced bows. He is extremely motivated and practices for around two hours every day.

Halder, who competed in the .22 rifle discipline, went up against a field of 79 athletes and finished 13th overall at nationals. She finished 14th in silhouettes, 10th in Civilian Marksmanship Program, known as CMP, and 17th in the three position competition, known as 3P.

The CMP event is new to Halder as Colorado does not even offer a CMP event in the state competition. Despite having to learn and strategize for an event that was brand new to her, she was able to finish in the top 10.

Leah Halder competes in the .22 Rifle discipline at the 2022 4-H National Championships in Green Island, Nebraska.
Amanda Laman/Courtesy photo

Halder first got into shooting four years ago when she made a bet with her father that if she placed in the state competition, she would get a new phone. Well, she got the phone, fell in love with shooting, and made it to the state competition all four years including tickets to compete in nationals twice. 

Halder competed both individually and as part of a team at Nationals that consisted of four shooters from Colorado. Alongside her was Walker Cameron from Larimer County, Shannon Draper from Douglas County and Forest Siminoe from Moffat County. As a team, they placed third overall out of 20 teams at nationals.

This was her last time competing in nationals and she is very proud of all she has accomplished in her shooting career.

“I think I did very well for how much practice and everything I had done,” Halder said. “Cause I didn’t get to do a lot of practicing or anything. I was very happy to hear my placing in all of that.”

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