The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Andrew Christiansen

Tallman and Gunkel in top 20 at National 4-H shoot


Contributed file photo

STANDING TALL: Tanner Tallman has been a dominant force in county and state archery competition for several years. After passing on the National 4-H competition the past two years, Tallman made the trip to Nebraska in June for a top 20 finish in compound bow competition. Tallman is pictured above during last year's state competition.

Travis Tallman and David Gunkel competed in the National 4-H Shooting Sports competition, June 26– June 28 at Grand Island, Neb. It was the second trip to Nationals for Gunkel and Tallman's first.

Gunkel competed last year in the air rifle competition. Competitors are allowed to compete at the National event one time, so Gunkel went this year in small bore rifle. He qualified by being one of the top marksmen in the Washington State 4-H contest. This time around Gunkel finished 19th out of 76 competitors from around the country.

Tallman had qualified for the Nationals in 2012 and 2013 but chose to pass on the event, preserving his eligibility. It was risky in that he still had to perform in the State event to qualify. His confidence paid off and he won a third time and earned the trip in compound bow competition. He finished 14th out of 70.

"It was fun and much bigger than I expected," says Tallman. "I got to talk to kids from all over. I made friends with a kid from Mississippi and found we had a lot in common."

Tallman says he has been to other events on that scale through FFA and 4-H, but this was the first time he had an opportunity to really get to know people. The format for the competition grouped competitors by discipline. They were together with that group for the entire three-day event.

Contributed file photo

NATIONAL EXPERIENCE: David Gunkel, above during the 2013 State 4-H Shooting Sports Competition, made his second trip to the National 4-H tournament. Gunkel also competed in shooting competition at the National High School Finals Rodeo Association events the past two years.

Tallman, like Gunkel, could attempt to qualify again in another discipline. He has considered competing in recurve bow. He has been involved in archery since he was four years old and has some experience with recurve. However, the past six years he has been competing with a compound bow.

"Recurves aren't as forgiving [as compound bows]" says Tallman. "The speed of the arrow is slower and more affected by wind. You also have all the weight of the bow. A compound bow reduces the weight to 20 percent once you get past the cam." Another difference between the two disciplines is the sighting. Both use a fiber sighting pin, but with compound bows, a magnifying scope is allowed.

Tallman has some other options to meet his competitive desires. He says he might compete in the Junior Olympics Archery Division or the International Bow Organization, which offers substantial prize money.

Gunkel and Tallman are both seniors at Goldendale. Gunkel's brother Grant, a sophomore, was also qualified for Nationals in air rifle but opted not to compete this year.


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