The 2013 Rhode Island Indoor NRA Three Position State Championship was contested at the Smithfield Sportsman’s Club on March 24th and Smithfield’s Joe Graf took advantage of the home field, winning the title by a 19 point margin over New Hampshire’s Bob Lynn.
The match, first shot in 1982, is currently an international half course, 60 shots, with 20 shots in the prone, standing, and kneeling position on the demanding NRA/USA 50 target. It is any sight match which means that competitors may use either metallic or telescopic sights. The match enjoys a rich tradition and some of Rhode Island’s best riflemen’s names are engraved upon the George Melcher Trophy. Hap Rocketto was the first winner, followed by George “Spike” Hadley, Joe Caires, Erik Hoskins, and Graf. The trophy itself honors Melcher who was an outstanding Ocean State coach and supporter of the shooting sports.
No sooner had Range Officer Dave Farrar called, “Commence fire!” then Lynn made his statement with a perfect 100 on his first card. He backed up with a 98X100 for a prone match winning score of 198X200. Graf and Ed Jaques, of the Cumberland Beagle Club, were knotted in a tie at 192X200 each. Graf’s consistency earned him second place as he shot a pair of 96s. Jaques started with a 97X100 but finished with a 95X100, one point less than Graf on the high score on last target tie breaking rule.
While Statistical Officer Nicole Panko was busy scoring prone targets the standing relay got underway. Graf made up lost ground on Lynn with his 179X200 to Lynn’s 165X200. Cumberland Beagle’s John Polseno was nipping at Lynn’s heels with a 163X200 for third.
With 20 shots to go it was Graf’s match to lose. He opened with a 96X100 to Lynn’s 87X100 and all but eliminated all competition. Lynn would have to shot 18 points better than Graf on the last target and, barring a major disaster, that was unlikely. Graf finished off with a 92X100 for a 188X200 kneeling while Lynn tallied a 177X200 for second while Jaques was third with a 175X200.
Graf finished with a 559X600 for the championship. Lynn’s 540X600 took silver while Polseno was the bronze medalist on the back of his 513X600.
With just a few more weeks of the Rhode Island Rifle League left the championship is a harbinger of the end of the indoor season. The last major match will be the Goodwill Match between the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Leagues.
The summer season will kick off with the Rhode Island NRA Three Position Regional and State Championship on June 2 at the South County Rod and Gun Club followed by the Rhode Island Prone NRA Regional and State Championship on June 22 at Smithfield.
2013-ri-indoor-3p-state-champ (PDF, 13KB)