Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Three Sisters Win Jr. Sheep & Wool Skillathon

Sixty-eight youth competed in the Junior Sheep & Wool Skillathon at the 2013 Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival (61 competed in 2012). Participants included 19 juniors (age 8-10), 20 intermediates (age 11-13), and 29 seniors (age 14-18) and represented five states:  Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.  Maryland counties with competitors included Baltimore, Calvert, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery, and Washington.

In a remarkable feat, three sisters from Frederick County won first place in each age category. Kallan Latham was the first place junior. Kallan scored perfect 50's on feeds, breeds, equipment, you be the vet, and how much does stuff cost? The first place intermediate was Brietta Latham. Brietta scored perfect 50's on feeds, fleece judging, and wool and was the only intermediate to score above 30 in each station. The first place senior was Aislinn Latham. Aislinn scored a perfect 50 in breeds and was the only senior to score above 30 in each station. Among non-state team members, Aislinn place first in last year's skillathon.

2013 Skillathon winners (L-R):  sisters Kallan (Jr),
Brietta (Int), and Aislinn Latham (Sr)
The second place junior was Chet Boden from Virginia. Chet placed first last year. Elizabeth Miller from Montgomery County placed third in the junior division. The second place intermediate was Rebecca Herriotts from Howard County. Evan Lineweaver from Virginia was the third place intermediate.  Andy Bauer from Howard County was the second place senior. Andy won the Maryland State 4-H Livestock Skillathon in March. The third place senior was Ashley Braun from Charles county.

The first place junior team was one of the Virginia teams whose members included Chet Boden, Cyle DeHaven, Riley Ashby, and Haley Seabright. Frederick County (Maryland) had the second place junior team. Team members included Kallan Latham, Jessica Martin, Karianna Strickhouser, and Kiandra Strickhouser.

1st place senior team from Charles County (L-R):  Ashley Braun, Caitlyn Olejnik, Johnny Hancock, and Emily Solis
The first place intermediate team was Frederick County (Maryland). Team members included Laura Dutton, Brietta Latham, Ray Martin IV, and Benjamin Sanville. The second place intermediate team was one of the Virginia teams whose members included Mackenzie Ashby, Caleb Boden, and Evan Lineweaver.

The first place senior team was Charles County. Team members included Ashely Braun, Johnny Hancock, Caitlyn Olejnik, and Emily Solis. The second place team was Howard County, whose members included Andy Bauer, Audrey Bennett, Dean Bennett, and Maggie Goodmuth.

This year, a wool award was provided to the individual with the highest cumulative score in the two wool stations:  fleece judging and wool ID.  The Junior Wool Winner was Kaisy Knott from Frederick County. The intermediate winner was Brietta Latham from Frederick County. Brietta had a perfect score of 100. Logan Stoltman from New York had the top senior wool score (95).

2nd place senior Andy Bauer examines wool
in the new wool identification station.
The Junior Sheep & Wool Skillathon is a program of the University of Maryland Extension Small Ruminant Program which provided plaques to the winner in each age division. The Maryland Sheep Breeders Association provides ribbons and premiums to the top 10 individuals in each age category. They provide festival t-shirts to members of the top three teams in each age category. This year, MSBA also provided awards for the top placers in the two wool stations.

It takes a lot of volunteers to run a skillathon. Special thanks is extended to everyone who helped with this year's event. Next year's Junior Sheep & Wool Skillathon will be held on Sunday, May 4 at the 41st Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.

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