Saturday, November 24, 2012

Arizona State 600 Yard Championship November 23, 2012

In 1960, after years of wading through a bureaucratic morass, Mr. Ben Avery's dream of a world class shooting facility became a reality. Since that time, men and women alike have left there indelible marks on the pages of shooting history, with their prowess and skill with the longarm. Though the list is long, it is filled with names like Kimes, Wigger, Anderson, Tompkins, Dapp, Gallagher, Whitaker, Franklin, Biggs, Murphy and so many more. Now new names are being etched into the history of this wonderful facility. Ten years from now shooters will look back and talk about Shaw, Hayes and Church, Milanovic, Blair and Nelson, Walker, Harris and Norling, Berta, Williams and Rosenthal. Like those before them these people have thrived in the crucible of competition and have earned the respect and admiration of all who have witnessed there greatness! Now for your viewing pleasure is but one more page in the rich history of shooting excellence here in the desert southwest.
A clear sky, comfortable morning temps and nearly windless conditions greeted the thirty-two competitors at todays 600 Yard Match. Notable first relay accomplishments include Haven Williams superb 200-17X on the difficult F-class target. A feat that fell just one X short of tying the F-Open record for the distance. As Williams quickly established himself as the man to beat with that memorable score, Scott Harris, Allan Rosenthal and Bill Berta made it abundantly clear that the road to victory was definetely through them. In sling, High Master Oliver Milanovic with his trusty Eliseo Tubegun rose above all others with a decisive 200-16X. He, like Williams had, made it perfectly clear he had his eyes firmly fixed on the prize. In the combined Expert/Sharpshooter class, Jaden Swartwood took the early lead by posting a very nice 197-4X, narrowly edging out fellow service rifle shooter Bronson Scott's effort of 196-8X.
In the second match of the day Williams widened his lead to four as his nearly perfect 199-10X was head and shoulders above the efforts of his fellow F'ers. Nancy Tompkins, returning from a well earned two month vacation from shooting, pointed out that she was not only at the table but she was there to win it all with a super 200-15X effort. She now stood alone in second place to Phil Hayes who had, without much fanfare, cleaned both of the first two matches! Milanovic's two point stumble in the second opened the door to Ken Nelson and Rick Curtis who were both down to Nancy by X's alone. Swartwoods brilliant start was eclipsed by Michael Walkers personal best and first clean at 600 yards. His 200-11X was one of only three 200's fired in the second match. It's interesting to note that in the Marksman class a battle had broken out between seasoned veteran Jeff Schneider and an up and coming junior named Vincent Norling. Norling had fallen three down to Schneider in the first, only to come roaring back with a solid 191-6X in the second to take a one point lead going into the third and final match of the day.
With both Harris and Rosenthal's disappointing efforts in the third, 194 and 195 respectively only Berta remained in a position to challenge Williams. No stranger to mastering pressure situations Bill blazed his way to a 198-7X to finish down eight and was looking for a miracle to take the day. Williams, a giant of a man, was not to be denied. Though it was his worst score of the day, his 196-8X was enough to seize victory over Berta by three points and a bucket full of X's. In the sling Marksman class, the battle between the young and the once young was to have a brilliant, albeit lop-sided finish as young Mr. Norling uncorked a class high 198-8X's to win by 13 points over Jeff Schneider. Walker in the Master class continued to shine with a very competent 195-8X to beat out Swartwood by four points.

Finally, as the match leaders in sling lay down for there final string, scores were very tight. Seven shooters lay within three points of each other. Anything could happen and it did as a dusty old Marine seized the moment by creedmooring Milanovic's 200-13X, winning the third and the overall by a mere dozen X's over Phil Hayes. Congratulations to all who tried and triumphed today! Lets hope this fine weather sticks around until next weeks Palma Championship. For those coming out for the 800 agg tomorrow, squadding begins at 0730 and first rounds down at 0900! pictures HERE
Full results can be viewed HERE

See you on the line

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