Winning championships was the norm for Tara Creighton during her eight-year tenure with the Madison County 4-H Shotgun Club.
The recent graduate of Madisonville High School won more than 20 championships during that timeframe. Shooting is something that seems to come natural for Creighton.
“I decided to join 4-H when I was 11,” she said. “I like to hunt, and thought shooting might be up my alley when I joined.”
Creighton proved to be right about that one. Her resume speaks for itself with six American Overall, three International Overall, two International Trap, three International Skeet, three American Skeet and three Whiz-bang state championships.
“I like shooting and I excel in it,” Creighton said. “It’s always good to participate in something you excel in. The competition is fun and it’s a good sport to be involved in.”
In addition to her 20 state championships, Creighton also has reserve championships in International Skeet, American Skeet, Whiz-bang and Sporting Clays (3). She also has memberships in the Texas Skeet Shooting Association, National Skeet Shooting Association, Texas Sporting Clays Association and National Sporting Clays Association.
Creighton also won numerous awards during her shooting tenure. This year alone, she was the Madison County 4-H Gold Star winner, a member of the All-American Ladies 12-gauge, All-American Ladies 20-gauge and All-American Ladies 28-gauge teams, and a Kriegoff All-American.
Creighton also won a trio of awards in 2014. Those awards were the Ladies AA national championship, Ladies Amateur champion in the 3rd PSCA Tour Shoot, and a reserve championship in the 1st PSCA Tour Shoot.
“I definitely enjoy the great outdoors,” Creighton said. “I love hunting, fishing and shooting.”
Later this summer, Creighton will represent Texas in the National 4-H Shooting Sports Championships in Nebraska. She was one of four shooters chosen from Texas.
Creighton plans to attend Sam Houston State and major in Ag Business. She also plans to continue shooting.
“I’m sponsored by the NSCA, and have a lot more opportunity to go pro through them,” Creighton said. “I’m going to specialize in clays.”
Creighton said she likes shooting clays the best. She likened it to playing golf.
“You have 12-15 stations in each competition and each station has two machines firing clays out from all directions,” Creighton said. “It’s the closest thing to hunting of all the shooting events, and it’s often referred to as ‘playing golf with a shotgun.’”
Creighton also gave credit to her shooting coach David Radenz. The longtime Madison County 4-H coach is stepping down after this year.
“David has a lot to do with my progression as a shooter,” Creighton said. “He helped me get the basics down.”
Although Creighton said the basics are important when it comes to shooting, she also stated that the sport is primarily a mental one.
“Shooting is 90-percent mental and 10-percent mechanical,” she said. “If you have the mental game down, the basics come much easier.”
But, like any other sport, Creighton said shooting requires practice - much to the chagrin of former NBA guard Allen Iverson.
“If you want to try shooting, go for it,” Creighton said. “There’s a lot of opportunity and anyone can do it. All you have to do is practice. If you practice enough, you should get it down.”
Spoken like a champion.