Over the weekend of July 16-18, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) presented a brand new series of indoor events for juniors and adults, the National Air Gun Matches. Fired within the world-class range of the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, the fresh lineup will now be a fixture during the annual Camp Perry National Matches, held each summer in Ohio.
“With almost 200 competitors, we were very happy with the turnout we had for the first year of the National Air Gun Matches, and we’re looking forward to building this match in the future,” said Katie Harrington, CMP program coordinator and match director for the National Air Gun events. “We are so appreciative of the support we had, and it was so great to see the camaraderie and sportsmanship between competitors – it’s what the National Matches are all about.”
The inaugural National Air Gun Match series was comprised of a Team Elimination Match followed by two days of 60 Shot air rifle and air pistol competitions. A team championship was also fired concurrently with the 60 Shot Match, combining the 60 shot scores of four grouped athletes.
The Team Elimination Match brought a unique type of competition to the National Matches schedule, combining the talents of paired athletes in air rifle and air pistol for three separate rounds. Round 1 saw teams firing 20 record shots each in 20 minutes, with the top 18 teams in each discipline moving on to the same format in Round 2.
Teams that qualified for Round 3 (the top four teams from Round 2) entered a new course of fire that featured single shots fired by each teammate in a time limit of 50 seconds – the first and second teams competing against one another, along with the third and fourth. The single shots from each teammate were combined, with the team achieving the highest score receiving two points. The first duo to reach 16 points or more were declared the winners.
Winning overall in the 2-member Elimination Match for air rifle was Ope and Y’all, Kristen Hemphill and Katie Zaun. The pair beat out Horned Nanook (Rylan Kissell and Abigail Gordon) 16 to 8.
In air pistol, Nova Sharp Shooters, William Regala and Suman Sanghera, took home the overall title after a tight contest against Arizona State Rifle & Pistol Association (John Zurek and Eugene Berman) – attaining a score of 16 to 14.
Each winning 2-person team member received $100 from the CMP.
During the National Air Gun Championship 60 Shot event, competitors fired two days of 60 record shots, followed by a final for the top eight Open and Junior athletes at the conclusion of the two days.
Earning the Junior Championship title in air rifle was Elizabeth Probst, 16, of Brady, Texas, with a score of 249.4. Following in second was Gavin Barnick, 19, of Appleton, Wisconsin, with 248.1, as Probst’s teammate Camryn Camp, 16, of Hillsboro, Texas, landed in third. Katie Zaun, 19, of Buffalo, North Dakota, led the Open competition with a score of 248.4 over 2-person teammate Kristen Hemphill and SGT Brandon Muske of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). Both Probst and Zaun earned $200 for their wins.
Suman Sanghera, 16, of Great Falls, Virginia, earned the same prize and the Junior Champion title in the air pistol match, with a score of 233.5. She also claimed second in the Open competition behind Anthony Lutz, 34, of Orient, Ohio, who fired a score of 238.2 for the overall win. The air pistol event also included recognitions for age group and classification leaders.
In the 4-Man Team competition, the USAMU claimed the top spot in the air rifle event. Members SGT Timothy Sherry, SGT Brandon Muske, SGT Patrick Sunderman and SPC Levi Clark fired a combined score of 4985.4 to overtake the match. High Junior Team was Dads of America – Elijah Spencer, Bremen Butler, Emme Walrath and Alivia Perkins. The team also received third place in the Overall competition with a score of 4969.7
Team Lapua (David Lange, Edward Reineke, Andrew Esposito and Richard Kang) fired the overall winning score of 4390-84X to claim the 4-Man win in air pistol.
For a complete list of results, including other medal-earning finishes and categorical air pistol awards, visit the CMP’s Competition Tracker page at https://ct.thecmp.org/2022NatAirGunResults. Photos of the event may be found online at https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f789405796 – with free download!
— By Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.