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EMMA GET YOUR GUN: Local shooter is best in U.S.

Emma Wilkie poses with awards she won at the National 4-H Shooting Sports Program in Nebraska.

After months of target practice, district and state competition and a national tryout, air pistol shooter Emma Wilkie emerged as the first-place winner in the National 4-H Shooting Sports Program in Grand Island, Nebraska.

The daughter of Amy and Jerome Wilkie, Emma, who was home-schooled, graduated in May and plans to enroll in college this fall, said Henderson County 4-H agent Hannah Worrell Peeler.

"Emma has excelled in target shooting for several years. This is not her first national," Peeler said. A 4H member for five years, Emma will age out as a 4H'er but plans to get certified as a shooting coach. Thirty-one competitors from North Carolina made nationals, including five others besides Emma from the Young Naturalist 4-H Club here. Eliana Pressley was one of four members of the North Carolina team that won first in the nationals.

Other shooters were:

  • Pistol – Caleb McCarson was one of four North Carolinains on a team that won third place overall.
  • Air Pistol – Emma Wilkie, Kinsley Lance and Ivory Eatmon were on the North Carolina team that placed third overall.
  • Coaches were Emma's dad, Jerome Wilkie, in Archery, Pistol and Air Pistol, and Chip Worrell, in Air Rifle, Archery and Shotgun.

The 4-H Shooting Sports National Championships, at Heartland Public Shooting Park, involved 4-H youth from across the country competing in compound archery, recurve archery, air rifle, air pistol, .22 rifle, .22 pistol, shotgun, muzzleloading and hunting skills.

The Henderson County Board of Commissioners will honor the five shooters with a certificate of recognition at its next meeting, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6.