By Ronnie Weston| September 7, 2012 at 3:29 PM CDT - Updated June 28 at 6:10 AM
LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – Hundreds of hours of practice, thousands of fired shotgun shells, and the result is a summer of notable performances by young trapshooters of Arkansas.
In the United States and overseas, members of the Arkansas Young Shooting Sports Program of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission took home assorted medals in several significant events.
Austin Odom of Benton was a member of the United States team that competed for the first time in the International Junior Shotgun Cup at Orimatilla, Finland. The team missed by just one point of taking the bronze medal.
Odom's previous accomplishments include 2012 Junior Olympic Shooting Championships silver medalist; 2011 USA Shooting National Junior Olympic bronze medalist; 2009 USA Shooting National gold medalist; 2009 USA Shooting National Junior Olympic gold medalist and 2012 Arkansas Junior Olympic Trap champion.
Kayle Browning of Wooster, now a veteran of major shooting events, took third place in the Trapshooting Women's Nationals in her age category. Haley Colbert of Texarkana won first place in the C Class of the Women's Nationals, and Amber Culwell of Rose Bud took second place in the A Class of the Women's Nationals.
In the Men's Nationals, along with Odom's second place, Reed McPherson of Stuttgart finished second in Men's Trap J2 competition, and Dustin McGowen of Greenwood was third in the Double Trap J2 competition.
Colbert finished sixth in the Junior Olympics Women's Trapshooting. Participants from Arkansas in the Junior Olympics trapshooting were Colbert, McGowen, Odom, McPherson, Culwell, Avery Lamb of Nashville, Taylor Teague of Enola, Kevin Weston of Mount Ida, Josh Hall of Mount Ida, Dustin Belcher of Stuttgart and Will Fryar of Oden.
Participants from Arkansas in the Nationals were Colbert, McGowen, Odom, Culwell and Browning.
The AYSSP emphasizes enjoyment of the outdoors and safe shooting to young Arkansans. The program has two divisions, junior for grades 6-8 and senior division for grades 9-12. Home-schooled students compete in the division they would be in if they were in public school.
For more information on AYSSP, contact coordinator J.D. "Chuck" Woodson at 501-230-4738.