Western Wildcat Wrap Up
Note: Because of atmospheric conditions, or some such other problem-probably euphoria, our Assistant Correspondent in the Field, Mark Del Cotto, was only able to send the aggregate results.
In a hard fought contest between national champions it came down, as it so often does, to X count. Current National Smallbore Conventional Prone Rifle Champion Mark Del Cotto and reigning National Smallbore Metric Rifle Champion Eric Uptagrafft fought it out for four days in the blazing heat and blinding sun and after 640 record shots were separated by a scanty six Xs. On the strength of his any sight aggregate X count Del Cotto captured the Henry Benson Memorial Trophy Plaque, the trophy like the Palma is lost in limbo, emblematic of the Western Wildcat championship 6396-536X to 6396-530X. Allen Thomas took third place over all with a 6393-493X. Peter Church, 6393-479X, lost third by Xs but was named Grand Senior champion.
High Master winner was Kevin Nevius, 6392-524X. A point behind him, but with an X count that tied the high for the tournament, was Nick Mower, 6391-536X. Mower also took the any sight aggregate with an impressive 3200-289X while Uptagrafft was the iron sight winner shooting a 3198-268X. Although it is impolite to discuss age with ladies it must be noted that Ginger McLemore, 6390-462X was high senior.
Adrian Harris was the top Master, 6390-492X, with Daniel Erpenbach shooting a 6380-473 for second. Another Master, Norman Lilyerd, took home the junior crown after posting a four day total of 6372-431X.
Mike Kelly, 6387-501X, swept both the metallic and anysight in the Expert class to nail down the aggregate in impressive fashion. Mike Arnstein and Rob Nobower spilt second place in the sub aggregates with Arnstein winning metallic and Nobower winning any sights tying in score, 6351. Arnstein’s 404Xs gave him second place in another rtight contest.
Chuck Eyberg led wire to wire in the combined class and won in convincing style with a 6348-342X. After losing second place in the metallic sight aggregate to Hall Abel by one point Paul Seyler bounced back, was second with any sights, shooting a 6327-367X for second place.
The Wildcats are also an NRA Regional and so Del Cotto, Uptagrafft, and Thomas also received gold, silver, and bronze toned medallions. Four steps for NRA Prone Distinguished were also awarded but only Thomas profited as the rest of the top four already have earned the award.
Adrian Harris is a purist. His 6390-492X was fired with irons all the way.