By Ryan Berry
GREENVILLE – The first night of shooting at the annual Miss Annie Oakley Shooting Contest was held Wednesday evening with 11 young ladies between the ages of 12 and 19 vying for the title Miss Annie Oakley. The two-day event tests the shooting skills of these young ladies to determine if they have the same kind of spirit Annie Oakley had.
To give the ladies a little confidence and inspiration, 2021 Miss Annie Oakley Paige Brewer took the first shot of the evening and hit the target with her first attempt.
Lona Dillman, Madison Werner, Isabella Gulley, Lexi Dillman, Rachael Wright, Lauren Wright, Riley Trittschuh, Alexa Robinson, Naomi Evans, Mirian Evans and Brooklyn Dillman all entered the night with a chance and a dream to wear the sash proclaiming them Miss Annie Oakley 2022. That dream ended for five of the young ladies as they missed the target twice at a specific distance. However, six young ladies are still holding out hope to win the title and represent the festival throughout the year.
Those eliminated on the first night of shooting were Lona Dillman, Isabella Gulley, Rachael Wright, Lauren Wright, and Naomi Evans. The girls were eliminated in several different rounds, including the first round at 25-feet, sixth round at 50-feet and seventh round at 55-feet.
Returning for Thursday night, when the competition will begin at 60-feet, are Madison Werner, a previous Miss Annie Oakley for 2019 and 2020, Lexi Dillman, Riley Trittschuh, Alexa Robinson, Miriam Evans and the youngest contestant at 12-years old, Brooklyn Dillman.
Just as it was in the preliminary round, the girls will shoot from a certain distance and will have two chances to break a balloon in the center of the target. If their aim is sure, they will have the opportunity to shoot again from five-feet further back. The contest will continue until there is only one girl to have hit all the targets.
In addition to the preliminary round of the shooting contest, the Miss Annie Oakley Shooting Contest also has a costume contest. Judges look for the outfit that best represents what Annie Oakley would have worn. This year’s winner is Lauren Wright.
The Annie Oakley Festival will be held Friday, July 29 through July 31 at the Darke County Fairgrounds. There will be plenty of western-style fun, entertainment and food.
To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected]