South Routt shooter headed to 4-H nationals
Steamboat Springs — It’s been a long time coming for Yampa’s Kendra Halder. Last August, she qualified for the 2016 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships and only now is beginning to see it become reality.
“I’ve been really excited for the last eight months,” Halder said. “It’s been there, kind of in the back of my mind.”
Halder, who will be a senior at Soroco High School in the fall, qualified for nationals with a strong performance at the Colorado 4-H State Shooting Sports Championships in Pueblo last year. The 2016 national competition will be held June 26 to July 1 in Grand Island, Nebraska — a who’s who of the best youth 4-H shooters in the country.
“I was not expecting to get to go to nationals this year,” Halder said, in regards to her performance at state last year. “We practiced with my team a few weeks, so I kind of know how the range is going to be run and what we are going to be shooting.”
Halder is part of the Colorado 4-H air rifle team, a group of four girls — the other three living near Kiowa — who were able to train together earlier in the spring. There is no separation of gender in 4-H shooting sports, so if the girls plan to win at nationals, they’ll have to beat the boys.
On top of featuring the best of the best, nationals will prove to be much more rigorous of an ordeal than state.
“At nationals, it’s the whole week, and it’s going to take a lot more concentration and a lot more discipline to keep my head in the game,” Halder said. “You’ll go, and it’s a whole week. You are shooting pretty much every day, whether it’s the competition or practicing.”
Halder plans to leave Saturday for Nebraska, with competition starting in earnest Monday. She has mostly been training by herself, with guidance from her father, John Halder, who is also one of the South Routt 4-H shooting coaches.
With nearly 10 years of shooting experience under her belt, nationals will easily be the biggest stage Kendra Hadler has seen.
To make the trip happen, Kendra Halder is reaching out for help in paying for food, gas and hotels during the weeklong stay in Grand Island. She has set up a Go Fund Me page at gofundme.com/28hmep2k.
“There are people from all over the country that are going to be there, so that’s going to be really cool,” Kendra Halder said. “I’m going to compete. I want to be up there toward the top as high as I can get.”
Kendra Halder, who will still be able to compete in the state championships for one more year after this August, hopes to find a college team to shoot for after she graduates from Soroco.
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The Routt County Board of Commissioners is back in the hearing room it vacated when the pandemic sent the world home in March 2020 — and the public is welcome to attend, too.