By Kyle Jillson | December 5 2012 16:01

After two consecutive Honorable Mentions, a first place finish for Georgia's Marianne Lim

Marianne Lim, in twelfth grade from Norcross, Georgia, took first place in the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's Category IV

Fairfax, Virginia - This is it - the final group. The George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's Category IV, for students in tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades is our toughest division.

The winning entries from this category are truly a sight to see. Months and months of effort are poured into each piece and our judges earn their keep selecting the final three.

It is most often in Category IV that the "anatomical accuracy" pillar of the judging process comes into play. Between two works of art that are extremely impressive, something like an inaccuracy in body shape or ability to capture motion is often the way to place one over another. But this is not to say the other three cornerstones of the judging process are tossed out. The effort, creativity and composition of an entry are also taken into account when our judges go to work.

Without further ado, here are the Category IV winners:

Coming in a well-deserved first place is twelfth grader Marianne Lim from Norcross, Georgia. A veteran of the contest, Marianne received Honorable Mentions for her artwork in both 2010 and 2011. Now, in her last year of eligibility, she pulled out all the stops and blew our judges away with this pencil piece of an arctic wolf titled Creeping.

We are proud to see how far Marianne has come in her artistic talent over the past couple years and though she won't be able to enter next year (probably to the relief of some of our contestants), we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors. Congratulations on your $750 prize.

Paige Rajnus, in eleventh grade from Malin, Oregon, took second place in the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's Category IV

In second place we see a more recent familiar face. Paige Rajnus's Snow Queen was featured here on NRAblog a little over a month ago when we were highlighting contest entries as they arrived. Well wouldn't you know it, she fared pretty well against the competition after all. Hailing from Malin, Oregon and in the eleventh grade, we look forward to one more entry in next year's contest.

Our judges were enamored with Paige's artwork. One described it as having the sophistication of a Japanese woodblock print.

Ingrid Cai, in tenth grade from Johns Creek, Georgia, took third place in the 2012 George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest's Category IV

And to round out the familiarity in Category IV, coming in third place is last year's Best in Show winner Ingrid Cai. A tenth grader from Johns Creek, Georgia, her piece, Bobcat at Rest, is so detailed it looks like a photograph.

Winning 2011's Best in Show from Category III, Ingrid's level of skill is something to behold. She has done well for herself in the oldest category and, with two more years of eligibility, we would not be surprised to see her win the grand prize again before all is said and done.

Congratulations again to the Category IV winners and, of course, everyone who participated in the contest. It's been a great 25 years doing the Youth Wildlife Art Contest and we look forward to 25 more. There are still a few reveals left up our sleeve from this year's contest. Keep checking back on NRAblog for the 2012 Best in Show and all of our honorable mentions. There's a lot of great art left.

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