By Steve White email@example.com
Champions run the gauntlet. High fives and applause greet the best of the best -- the top 4-H shooters in the nation. It's a compliment to say you shoot like a girl to a member of this team.
And the lone guy proves he's man enough to wear pink, all the way to the top of the podium.
"We did pretty well," Nicole Benedict said, after claiming her medal along with her team's medals.
As the National 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational wraps up, this team from Pennsylvania says it wasn't about the competition, but the food.
"Texas Roadhouse was really good," Nicole said with a laugh.
That kind of talk hits the bull's eye with tourism officials.
Liz Gerberding of the Grand Island Convention and Visitors Bureau said, "They like downtown area, they like the fact they can get around easy in town. They visit a lot of restaurants, we know they go shopping because we see bags coming back, just about everything about the event."
And it all happened at one of the rare shooting ranges that provides space for every discipline in one place.
Ray Kenney of Beemer, Neb. said, "You talk to a lot of teams and they're practicing in gravel pits and neighbor's pasture. Here in Grand island, they've got a fantastic range and a lot of help."
Nebraskans want to lock this event up permanently.
Gerberding said, "We would love this one for every year it's around."
"Or at least get a 10 year contract for it. I don't know for sure, but it's possible," Kenney said.
They make kids, even those half a country away feel welcome and leave as winners.
Simon Knapp of Pennsylvania said, "Feels really good, like you accomplished something worthwhile."
More than 500 kids were here for a week, plus coaches and families. Add in the livestock show, and hotels are packed and restaurants report good business.