Almost 600 shooters from 33 states participated in the 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships last weekend, and two Louisiana teams won titles.

Louisiana students participating in both the shotgun sports and recurve archery divisions claimed team championships at the event, which was held June 26-28 in Grand Island, Neb.

The shotgun team, made up of Austin Hebert of Lafayette, Ian Duplantis of Houma, Colton Chandler of Dry Prong and Dylan Whitstine of Colfax, took first place and scored 1,111 out of a possible 1,200, according to Coach Jon Hebert. 

The kids participated in sporting clays, skeet and trapshooting over three days, and Hebert said even though they didn’t get much time to practice together before the event,  he knew they had a special chemistry.

“This team just came together and glued together,” Hebert said. “The first weekend we shot as a team I told their dads there was something special about this bunch. 

“They all have their specialty events, but they’re all good overall.”

Duplantis also won individual honors for the sporting clay competition by shooting 96 out of 100 targets, and Whitstine, only a freshman, took top honors in the trap event by hitting 99 out of 100.

The champion recurve archery team was coached by Harold Seguin, and included Elliot Bernard and Garrett Richard from St. Martin Parish, Ryan Blomquist from Rapides Parish and Hunter Seguin from Livingston Parish.

The Louisiana contingent of about 40 shooters finished fourth overall across all disciplines out of 33 states participating, Hebert said.