Another big day in the Hub City on Saturday, April 8, as the Belen Shooting Sports Association hosted the Light Rifle Shooting Competition of the New Mexico High School Rodeo Association.
“These young men and women work with their animals, practice and compete in their various rodeo events,” said Tony Ybarra, the state high school director for this event.
“All that, and they still make time to practice and compete in the shooting sports events.”
Some of these top shooters will go on to compete at the National High School Rodeo Association competition to be held in July in Gillette, Wyo.
One of the shooters took fourth place last year.
All the rifles in the competition were bolt action. Variable Power Scopes in 3 x 9 power are the most common.
Ammunition was all .22 long-rifle ammo, and the brands of ammo were varied.
The shooters settle on the most accurate and consistent ammo for their particular gun.
Many also weigh each round and use the exact same weight rounds in competition; and shoot the outliers in practice.
Paper targets were set at 50 yards for the event.
Three shooting positions were required — standing, kneeling and prone.
Each competitor had to fire 12 rounds in each shooting position, with three rounds fired into four small round targets.
There is a time limit of 18 minutes in standing position, and 12 minutes in each of kneeling and prone positions.
Communities represented from around New Mexico were Silver City, Las Cruces, Mountainair, Yeso, Carlsbad, Stanley and Bosque (Damian Wood).
In the senior division the highest score was posted by Dalli Cain with a 318 out of a possible perfect score of 360.
In the junior division, Zoey Cline won with a score of 324.
The 10-ring is only the size of a quarter, which is small for 50 yards distance. Last year’s national championship was won with a score of 336.