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Big Sky State Games muzzleloading event held in Havre

Press release

Eighteen shooters participated in the 38th annual Big Sky State Games Muzzleloading event held in Havre Saturday, July 15, at the Havre Police Department Shooting Range south of Havre. There were shooters from Havre, Buffalo, Harlowton, Fort Peck and Marysville participating.

The 49 assorted events of the Big Sky State Games were held in Billings July 14-15-16 with opening ceremonies and parade of athletes at Daylis Stadium July 14. The program includes Parade of Athletes, fun entertainment and interactive events, and the Men's and Women's Montana Mile - fastest milers in Montana - and traditional torch lighting by Olympic athletes.

The 2023 Torchlighters were: Andre Phillips, Hurdles: Olympian, Gold Medal 1988; 1985 World Cup Champion; 1985 USATF Outdoor Champion; 1981 NCAA Champion; 2009 USATF Hall of Fame.

Erin Shean, High Jump: 2000 Olympian, four-time World Championship Finalist, Pan American Bronze Medalist. Shean also participated on the US Women's National Volleyball team and is a 7-time All-American competing in both sports for the Texas Longhorns.

Duncan Atwood, Javelin: 1980, 1984 Olympian, two-time winner of the Pan American Games 1979, 1987, World Cup Finalist and a one-time World Championship Finalist. He was a clinician at the Ironwood Throws Camp and currently is the assistant coach for Pacific Lutheran University.

Scott Huffman, Pole Vault: 1996 Olympian, two-time World Championship Finalist, three-time U.S. National Champion. He competed at the University of Kansas. Huffman held the American pole vault record of 19'7" from 1994-2006. He is often most known for his vaulting technique, called the "Huffman Roll."

Tripp Piperi, Shot Put: A promising Olympian prospect, two-time NCAA Champion and World Champion Finalist. He is a University of Texas alumni and now competes professionally for team USA.

The Big Sky State Games is an Olympic-style amateur sports festival for people of all ages and abilities who reside in the great State of Montana. Residents in bordering states are invited to participate. The Games are a member of the National Congress of State Games and recognized by the United States Olympic Committee.

The Big Sky State Games has grown since the inaugural year in 1986, when 3,376 athletes participated in 12 sports, to 10,000 athletes competing in 47 sports last year. During the past 36 years, more than 300,000 athletes from more than 250 Montana communities have participated in the games. The Big Sky State Games rank number one in the nation in per capita participation.

The state games concept was developed in New York in 1978 with the Empire State Games. Last year, more than 400,000 athletes competed in state games in 30 states across the nation. State Games feature the sports of the Olympic and Pan-American Games, as well as emerging sports and local favorites. They attract athletes of a wide variety of ages, backgrounds, and skill levels, bringing out future and former Olympians as well as athletes for whom State Games are a real career highlight.

Jim Griggs is the muzzleloading commissioner/coordinator for the shooting event. Bob Doney was the range of officer. Kathy Doney, Laine Shettel and Christina Schweigert were the scoring and recording officials.

The shooting conditions were excellent with temperatures in the mid-80s, high humidity, smoky and very little wind. Aggregate events include three targets shot at 25, 50 and 100 yards in various positions offhand, cross sticks and bench. Pistol aggregate is a two-target event with 10 shots per target at 25 and 50 yards. Event medalists, going along with the Olympic-style placing are Gold, Silver and Bronze.

The medalists for the aggregates were:

Women's Aggregate: Gold, Christy Owens, Havre, 124; Silver, Tammy Griggs, Marysville, 119x; Bronze, Kathy Lynch, Havre 117.

Junior Aggregate: Gold, Sidney Griggs, Havre, 117; Silver, Luke Griggs, Havre, 78.

Senior Aggregate, 62 years and older: Gold, Steve Martin, Harlowton, 138xx; Silver, Tom Giggs, Marysville,121; Bronze, Randy Owens, Havre, 112.

Percussion Aggregate: Gold, Steve Martin, Harlowton, 129; Silver, Tom Brown, Havre, 128; Bronze, Darwin Reyn olds, Buffalo, 127xxx.

Flintlock Aggregate: Gold, Mike Otterberg, Fort Peck, 115; Silver, Tom Brown, Havre, 99; Bronze, Kathy Lynch, Havre, 73.

Benchrest Aggregate: Gold, Cliff Plum, Havre, 126; Silver, Brad Bender, Havre,125; Bronze, Tom Brown, Havre, 123x.

One-Gun Aggregate: Gold, Steve Martin, Harlowton, 135x; Silver, Kendall Griggs, Havre, 124; Bronze, Andy Owens, Havre, 123.

Pistol Aggregate: Gold, Steve Martin, Harlowton, 156xxx; Silver, Tom Brown, Havre, 153x; Bronze, Brad Bender, Havre, 148.

Curley Wolf (1 target 6-bull, 50-yard offhand, Reentry): Gold, Tom Brown, Havre, 33; Silver, Steve Martin, Harlowton, 30; Bronze, Tom Griggs, Marysville, 21.

First-Time Shooter: Gold, Luke Griggs, Havre, Bench Rest Aggregate, 93.

A special thanks to the City of Havre and Havre City Police for allowing this event to take place in Havre again this year. Normally, the event would be held in Billings, but nearly 90% of the shooters participating over the years have been from north of the Missouri River and the Big Sky State Games board of directors have allowed the event to be held in Havre since 2020.


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