2012 Rhode Island Conventional Prone Championship and NRA Regional
by Digby Hand
Two major Rhode Island smallbore matches were piggy backed at the Smithfield Sportsman’s Club on June 24th. Competitors from four states shot a traditional prone 1600 course of fire with the 50 yard and 50 meter matches requiring metallic sights while the Dewar and 100 yard matches allowed any sights.
The 50 yard match was won by Mackenzie Martin’s 400-34X, out Xing Brian Jylkka by one. Three Ocean State shooters opened their quest for the 2012 state title with 399s. Defending champion Joe Graf took the early advantage over Michele Makucevich and Hap Rocketto by five Xs. In the two parallel matches the stage was set early for some tough competition with no quarter asked, nor given. Steve Rocketto was first Expert while Alexa Aguiar took the combined Sharpshooter Marksman class.
The demanding 50 meter target took its toll on a host of shooters but Jylkka continued his perfect shooting by nailing down a second 400, the only one of the match. Martin continued to harry Jylkka keeping close with a 399. Graf held onto his lead while Makucevich and Hap Rocketto each posted 397s to keep Graf on his toes. Steve Rocketto and Aguiar repeated as class winners.
The Dewar match required 20 shots at 50 yards and another 20 at 100 yards and, in this case, would be shot with any sights. While Jylkka bolted on a scope Martin stayed with her irons and went on to win the match with a 400-34X tying Jylkka, who dropped a point, in the aggregate. Steve R beat all Experts, but it was not the Steve R who had controlled the class up until now, but rather Steve Roby, who posted the only other perfect Dewar, a 400-19X. Elizabeth Dutton broke Aguiar’s stranglehold on the combined class. Along the way she cleaned the 50 yard card, the first of her young shooting career.
The trio vying for state honors all opened with 200 at 50 yards and Graf and Makucevich dropped a single point at 100 while Rocketto went for three. This left Graf little breathing room with another 40 shot at 100 yard to go and deteriorating conditions.
The final 40 shots were critical and Jylkka and Martin went hammer and tongs to determine the regional champion. In the end Jylkka won out with a 399-24X to Martin’s 398-29X but neither won the final match. It went to Chuck Cannon who posted the only clean score in the match, a 400-29X. Danielle Makucevich took Expert honors while Aguiar returned to the combined class winner’s circle.
When the scores were posted it looked like Graf’s reign was at an end and he would be eclipsed by Makucevich whose score was listed as a 400. The Newport coach quickly saw there was an error and, in a fine display of sportsmanship, challenged her own score, which she knew to be a 398. Graf retained his title by one point. However, the Makucevich family was not to be denied a title as Danielle took the junior title for the second time in as many years.
Regional class honors went to Marksman Aguiar, Sharpshooter Brendon Whitaker, Expert Steve Rocketto, and Master Michele Makucevich. Joe Graf was the bronze medalist with a 1594-106X, Martin took silver on the bases of her 1597-128X-shot with irons the whole way.
Jyklla, in his first regional victory, was the gold medal winner. In winning he also earned the last of the four steps he needed for Distinguished making him both the newest prone and double Distinguished smallbore rifleman in the nation. Marking a certain symmetry Martin earned her first step for the prestigious award. Perry waivers went to Jylkka and Steve Rocketto.
Martin’s performance will bring her, pending NRA confirmation, a pair of National Records. Her 1597-128X surpassed both the current woman and intermediate junior records by a point and Xs. This is no small feat when one considers that the she bested international and national champion Nancy Tompkins for the woman’s record and Tyler Rico, the youngest person ever to earn the Distinguished Rifleman Badge, for the intermediate record.
The competitors left with just a few weeks to tune up for the big shoot at Camp Perry which will begin on July 19th.
Complete results can be downloaded here: 2012-ri-conv-prone (PDF, 25KB)