Sunday, November 25, 2012

Arizona State High Power Rifle Championship November 24, 2012

As a young Marine some 35 years ago I lived, ate and breathed NRA High Power rifle shooting. "Across the course" competition, often referred to as simply XTC, combines not only three different distances but three different shooting positions. Saturday a small but fierce group of dedicated shootist's descended on the Ben Avery Shooting Facility to test their skills in our desert arena. To add to the excitement the wind, which had been conspicuously absent for over a month, returned in force to toy with this years hopefuls. Under a clear, cloudless sky and buoyed by very moderate temperatures these men came with their hopes and dreams to see who would emerge as Champion.
In the first match of the day, 200 yard slow fire standing, Paul Shumway was very deft in outsmarting the pushy wind and posted a match winning 195-4X. This gave Paul an early 6 point lead over fellow High Master Jim OConnell. However, down in the combined marksman, sharpshooter, expert class Arizona State Junior Team hotshot Vincent Norling staked his claim to second place overall after the first with a fantastic 191-3X's. After some of Norlings recent performances I'm sure his fellow class men are hoping Vinny catches a one way ticket to the Master Class and soon! Speaking of the Master Class, yet another up and coming Junior, Bronson Scott, put up a very nice 186-1X to take the class win over runner up Jaden Swartwood.
In the second match of the day, 200 yard rapid fire, everyman Phil Hayes awoke like a hungry bear from the stupor that his standing score had produced and fired a nearly perfect 199-11X's to take the overall victory. Shumway and OConnell were close by with a pair of 198s with 5 and 6X's respectively. In the Master class Swartwood and Jeff Schneider also posted 199's but Schneider's 7X's just edged out Swartwoods performance to grab the class win. In the combined class, long time shooter Phillip Meyers crushed it with a 199-10X score beating out Robert Craigs effort of 199-7X. Going into the third match of the day the leaders were Shumway down seven for the overall, Swartwood and Scott were tied down eighteen in the Master class and Norling, down only eleven, was dominating the combined class.
Often times it is said that a match will be won or lost on your feet and in many cases this is true. However the 300 yard rapid fire match has derailed many an aspiring shooter in less time than it takes to prepare ones morning toast. Sadly this was the case for Shumway as his disastrous 165 drove a stake in the heart of his chances for victory. Hayes continued his rampage and uncorked another 199-11X to narrowly take the victory over his son Ryan by a mere 4X's. Scott continued to shine in the Master class with a brilliant 198-7X's. Suddenly with only the 600 yard match to go Phil Hayes was now leading the pack down eighteen. OConnell who himself had a near tragedy at 300 was down an even twenty. Scott also held a two point lead over Swartwood and Norling was just flat whipping his class like rented mules. Only a complete meltdown at the longest line could knock this kid off track.
As the days competitors began their turns at 600 the winds had tapered off a good bit from the morning but would still nab the unwary with the quick direction changes. Young Mr Norling would learn this first hand as he appeared to be completely out of step with the changes and limped in with a 176-3. This left the door open for distant class runner up Robert Craig who only needed 185 to pull off the victory. Unfortunately for him this was not to be his day as his anemic 177-4X handed Norling an eight point margin of victory in the combined class. Congratulations Vincent! In the Master class it boiled down to a battle of wills as each man would give nor take any quarter. But when the dust settled Bronson Scott emerged as the Master Class Champion by a single point over Swartwood and Travis Burian. Well done Bronson, never say die.
In the battle for the overall State Champion Californian Jim OConnell and many time past Arizona Champion Phil Hayes really mixed it up. When the dust cleared OCOnnell had squeaked by Hayes by one point to win the yard line but fell short by a single point to Phil for the overall. Congratulations to Phil Hayes on becoming the 2012 State High Power Rifle Champion! Also thanks to everyone who came out for the match. I have some pictures of the days happenings HERE Full results can be viewed HERE

We are looking forward to seeing a lot of you here for the Palma Championship starting Friday November 30th. As a reminder we will be shooting practice Thursday the 29th. Just be in the pits by 0815 for squadding.
Be well my friends

No comments: