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(PHOTOS) Gillette Elks Lodge hoop shoot nets 4 representatives for district

Four of the dozens of local children who participated Nov. 20 in the Gillette Elks Lodge Hoop Shoot will represent Gillette at the next level of competition.

Hoop shoot competitors in the 10- and 11-year-old divisions celebrate after their competition. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Four of the dozens of local children who participated in the Gillette Elks Lodge Hoop Shoot Nov. 20 will represent Gillette at the next level of competition.

Those individuals are Payton Sorenson, Harlan Inness, Tanya Boike and Brooks Baldwin, according to local coordinator Vicki Swenson. This team will compete in the NE District Competition in Casper on Jan. 27, 2024, which will also draw athletes from Casper, Lusk and Sheridan. There were no Gillette contestants in the 8- and 9-year-old or 12- and 13-year-old girls divisions. District winners will advance to the state competition, which is Feb. 10, 2024.

Gillette College basketball players volunteered to help with the hoop shoot competition. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Here are the 2023–2024 Gillette Elks Lodge Hoop Shoot winners.

  • 8- and 9-year-old boys:
    • First: Brooks Baldwin
    • Second: Holden Woofford
    • Third: Jordan Morris
  • 10- and 11-year-old boys:
    • First: Armando Avilo
    • Second: Harlan Inness
    • Third: Hensley Johnson

Inness will represent Gillette in Casper because Avilo will be unavailable.

Coordinator Vicki Swenson, left, gives Armando Avilo, right, his certificate. Harlan Inness, center, was the second-place winner and will represent Gillette in his age division at the district competition. (Mary Stroka/County 17)
  • 10- and 11-year-old girls:
    • First: Tehya Boike
    • Second: Hayley Shippy
    • Third: Madison Green
Tanya Boike places first in her age division. (Mary Stroka/County 17)
  • 12- and 13-year-old boys:
    • First: Payton Sorenson
    • Second: Jarek Fiedor
    • Third: Jude Garcia, who beat John Biggs in a tiebreaker
Payton Sorenson competes in the Nov. 20 hoop shoot, where he won first place in his division. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Fiedor was the first Gillette boy to make it to nationals, which he did last year. He won the boys 10- and 11-year-old age group at the 2022–23 Regional Hoop Shoot contest in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on March 18. He and Sorensen competed in the state championship in Casper in February. There have been three Wyoming children who have won nationals.

The boys who participated in the 12- and 13-year-old division in Gillette Nov. 20. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Gillette College basketball team members assisted the Elks in running the competition, which was held in Prairie Wind Elementary’s gym.

Jarek Fiedor competes Nov. 20. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Elks lodges across the U.S. have held the National Elks Foundation Free Throw hoop shoot competitions for 50 years, according to a flier.