With the command “Commence Fire!” the 2017 Anysight Smallbore Rifle Metric Prone National Championships got underway. The pack of a half dozen competitors knotted up for the lead for the grand aggregate knew that every shot would count any there would be no quarter given.
Starting with the Dewar Match there would be many surprises as the day wore on and new faces appeared in the winner’s circle. Wes Schumaker, Nancy Tompkins, and Kerry Spurgin battled out it shot for shot ending in a three way tie as they each posted a 396. The X count was needed to settle the hard fought match which went to Schumaker who had amassed 30Xs. Spurgin slipped past Tompkins, 25X to 23Xs. Mike Arnstein picked up where he left off winning the combined class with a 385-16X.
Spurgin kept up the pressure at 100 yards with a match winning score, an impressive 397-22X. Richard Fowke was not giving up easily and scored a 395-23X for second place just four Xs ahead of third place Ron Wigger. Brian Hunter was not going to let Arnstein walk over the class and shot a 387-16X to out point the British Expert by five.
With 40 shots left at 50 meters it still was anyone’s match. Wigger put his imprint on the proceedings with a 396-27X. Right on his tail were four 395s, Eric Uptagrafft, Tompkins, Howard Pitts, and Allen Thomas. The X count for second was tied at 26X for Uptagrafft and Thomas with Uptagrafft winning the tie breaker. Arnstein roared back to regain his hold on the combined class shooting a 387-17X.
After spending a day hovering just below the radar Uptagrafft emerged as the any sight champion shooting an 1184-76X. It was not an easy victory as Tompkins had challenged him all day and was second by a mere 11 Xs. Fowke was third posting a 1176-61X. Arnstein motored home to class honors with an 1154-45X.
The any sight results were a precursor to the grand aggregate finish. Uptagrafft’s steady performance earned him the 2017 National Champion crown with a score of 2368-140X. Tompkins hard holding on day two gave her a 2358-119X, allowing her to climb into second place. Fowke shot well, 2356-126X, but was unable to hold on to his two point metallic sight lead but took home the bronze medal. Mark Del Cotto was first Master, 2353-125X, followed by Wigger, 2347-115X, Kevin Nevius, 2345-121X, and Spurgin at 2343-115X.
High senior was Ginger McLemore while James Gained wrapped up the special Grand Senior category.
Arnstein has free reign over the combined class with a 2291-84X, well ahead of Hal Able who put up a 2260-76X.
F-Class rifleman Jeff Huehn read the wind very well as evidenced by his 2388-168X winning score. Jim Murphy and Ray Del Rio tied at 2374 but the X count gave the Senior title to Murphy and Del Rio was first Master followed by Bill Treder. Baker Del Cotto ran roughshod over his fellow Grand Seniors for that venerable title.