2017 NRA National Smallbore Prone Rifle Championships
Day One-Metric Position Championship-Metallic Sights
The 2017 NRA National Smallbore Rifle Championships entered it penultimate day with the start of the Metric Position Championship under partly cloudy skies.
George Norton, making a play to recapture the Iron Man Trophy, lead off the match with a 396-24X prone. Mike McPhail, who is returning to position shooting, had a very good 24X count as he put together a score of 394 for second. Erin McNeil, yet another Army shooter, slid into third just behind McPhail, and ahead of Dan Martz’s 392-17X with a 393-19X.
In a match heavily laden with young shooters junior Antonio Gross broke the adult steak of wins in the second match when he posted a 378-9X standing. Norton kept the pressure on shooting a 376-8X for second. McNeil picked up her second third place finish of the day with a 374-10X effort. Martz and McPhail were very much in the running after both scored 373-11Xs on their feet.
Norton led the pack with a 772 over the first two matches, enjoying a five point lead over McPhail and McNeil going into kneeling. Martz and Gross were not far behind with a 765 and 764 respectively.
At the elite level kneeling scores are often as good as prone but today would not be one of those days. Bill Beard, a veteran of the ’84 Olympics, was top gun in the match with a 385-14X. Jared Desrosiers had the same X count but a 383 score for second place and Gross was in third, shooting a 383-14X.
Despite a last minute lunge to the finish line by the civilians and juniors the Army shooters had built up enough points early on and they ended up sweeping the Metallic Sight Championship. In descending order, it was Norton, 1149-39X, McPhail, 1148-54X, and McNeil, 1147-43X who out Xed Gross, 1147-43X, for third.
The 2017 championships will close tomorrow with the Any Sight title on the line and the Iron Man will be decided as well.