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MEEKER | Shane Kobald, 17, doesn’t remember exactly what prompted him to pick up a bow at the age of 6, but the decision has served him well. His first competition was at the age of 10, in Eagle. Since then he has won at the state level “a couple of times.” It’s more than a couple, and this year’s state 4-H championship qualified him for the national competition. With three years in the 4-H Shooting Sports program, Kobald is the first Rio Blanco County archer to earn a trip to the national 4-H competition held in Grand Island, Nebraska, last weekend.
The four top archers from Colorado — Kobald, Alexander Nichols (Craig), Antonio Moltrer (Trinidad), and CJ Caton (Limon) — competed and placed in multiple events, bringing home a fifth place team ribbon in compound field archery, a sixth place team finish in FITA competition (shooting at targets at certain ranges) and a 10th place team finish in 3D archery, as well as several individual awards.
Kobald, who has “won state a couple of times” in various competitions, enjoyed the opportunity to meet with other archers from other states during the three-day tournament.
“Big thanks to the McGuires [Jeff and Cassie] and Rocky Mountain Bowstrings,” Kobald said, “and to 4-H.”
Tera Shults, 4-H program coordinator, said the local 4-H archery program has “gone to a whole new level” thanks to support from the McGuires, who bought club bows for kids who want to try the sport without making an investment in equipment, and provide additional help for the program. Kobald said Jeff Eskelson of Rocky Mountain Bowstrings has supplied him with strings.
Coaches John Kobald (Shane’s father), and Dan and Kim Bair have worked hard with the students to practice and improve their skills, Shults said. This year 23 students from all three 4-H age groups, ranging from 8 to 17, participated.
Shane is serving as a junior leader in the 4-H archery program, and said he enjoys sharing the skills he has learned with others.
By NIKI TURNER – firstname.lastname@example.org