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4-H shooting sports team members set national records

PERALTA - Valencia County 4-H shooting sports air rifle team members, Peralta sisters Kaitlyn Martin and Rachel Martin, set national records recently in the Golden Anchor Military Skills Air Rifle Match in Albuquerque.

Valencia County 4-H shooting sports air rifle team members Kaitlyn Martin and Rachel Martin of Peralta set national shooting records firing in the Golden Anchor Military Skills air rifle match in Albuquerque.

The records were set in the 4-H and junior age categories at the annual event, which attracts junior rifle marksmen from across the state.

"Golden Anchor is a three-position air rifle match where shooters fire upon targets from prone, standing and kneeling positions," said Joel Martin, coach of the Valencia County team.

Rachel Martin, 12, a seventh-grade home-schooled student, set the individual 3X10 record for a 4-H shooter in the sporter air rifle category by firing a score of 249 out of 300.

Kaitlyn Martin, 15, a high school sophomore who is attending the University of Oklahoma high school distance learning program, set two records - 4-H and the J2 age group - in the precision air rifle category by firing a score of 285 out of 300 for the match. The score also placed her third overall.

"Sporter rifles are lower cost, entry level rifles that are the backbone of the 4-H shooting sports program," Joel Martin said. "Precision air rifles are the top end of the air rifle class and are fired in high school, NCAA and Olympic national programs."

The match is hosted yearly by the University of New Mexico Navy ROTC program.

Kaitlyn Martin is also on a team that currently holds the National Rifle Association JROTC 3X20 Precision team record. She will compete in the National 3X20 Air match held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Both sisters attended and medaled in the National 3-Position Junior Olympics in July while representing the Valencia County 4-H Shooting Sports program.

The 4-H shooting sports club welcomes any 4-H member to participate in a wide variety of shooting disciplines from archery to muzzleloader rifles, including air rifle, pistol, rifle, shotgun and paint ball. Across New Mexico there are approximately 1,780 members.

"Through the National 4-H Shooting Sports program youth learn marksmanship, the safe and responsible use of firearms, the principles of hunting and archery, and much more," said Rick Richardson, NMSU 4-H youth specialist. "The activities of the program and the support of caring adult leaders provide young people with opportunities to develop life skills, self-worth and conservation ethics."

For more information about shooting sports 4-H clubs, visit the National 4-H Shooting Sports Web site at www.4-hshootingsports.org or contact the local county Extension office.