On the weekend of May 19-22, Suman Sanghera, 17, of Great Falls, VA, returned to the Camp Perry Open to overtake the pistol portion of the annual air gun competition for the second consecutive year. Last year, Sanghera led the Junior class, but in 2023, she showed her strengths by going on to claim the Open match as well as the overall win in the Super Final event.
The Camp Perry Open features three-position precision/sporter air rifle and smallbore matches as well as 60 shot air rifle and air pistol competitions, split into Open and Junior categories. The event is hosted by the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) at the indoor Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center and the outdoor Petrarca Range – both located on the grounds of Camp Perry. Each event includes qualifying rounds, followed by an elimination final that determines overall winners. Team events were also held concurrently with the 3×20 air rifle and 60 shot qualification matches during the weekend.
Sanghera, a senior athlete, is a member of the NOVA Sharpshooters team and is the top ranked women’s 10-meter air pistol athlete in the U.S. Among other accolades, she’s a national record holder and has won numerous gold medals over her career. This fall, she’ll attend The Ohio State University as a member of the pistol team, studying to become a physician. With her success, in 2023, she was chosen by the CMP Scholarship Committee as one of the Top 4 athletes to receive a recurring $5,000 over the next four years ($20,000 overall) through the CMP Scholarship Program.
A family affair, Sanghera’s brother, Bhavjeet, 20, landed in third place in both the Junior and Open categories after earning third in the Junior match at last year’s event.
Also finding wins at the 2023 Camp Perry Open was Molly McGhin, 21, of Griffin, GA, who claimed the Open 60 Shot Rifle event, while Katrina Demerle, 18, of Hamilton, Ohio, led the junior competition. Demerle had earned first overall in the 3×20 match in the precision class on the opening day of the Camp Perry Open, with Charles Bratton, 18, of Clover, SC, leading the sporter class.
The 2023 Camp Perry Open marked a new beginning for the CMP Smallbore program, utilizing the new 50-meter, KTS (Kongsberg Target Systems) E-Score system for the first time. The targets are set to be used in future CMP smallbore competitions, including the upcoming National Smallbore Matches in July.
“I think the Camp Perry Open went very well for the first time around with these targets,” said Brad Donoho, CMP smallbore manager. “We learned a lot and identified a few things to fix before Nationals.”
“Overall, I’m very pleased with how the match went and am confident the 2023 National Matches will be very successful,” he added.
Leading the Smallbore 3×20 elimination event at the Camp Perry Open was Olympic medalist Mary Tucker, 21, of Sarasota, FL. Gavin Barnick, 20, of Appleton, WI, was the high junior athlete.
Another event exclusive to the Camp Perry Open is the anticipated Super Final – featuring costumes, music and other dazzling effects that bring fun to the match. During the Super Final, the top 38 competitors from each of the day’s air rifle and air pistol qualification round meet on the firing line to compete in an intense elimination event. The competition goes on until only one athlete remains standing.
Winning the 2023 rifle Super Final was Elijah Spencer of Boise, Idaho, as Sanghera led the pistol side. Each earned $200 for their first place finishes. Following Spencer was Angeline Henry of Fort Worth, Texas, as McGhin found third. Matthew Lemmon of Clyde, Ohio, and Sam Gens of Greenwood Village, Colo., trailed Sanghera in the pistol match, earning second and third, respectively. Second place took home $150, while third earned $100.
Top athletes of the 2023 Camp Perry Open:
- Mary Tucker, 21, of Sarasota, FL – 459.2
- SPC Jared Eddy, 22, of Midland, GA – 455.9
- Gavin Barnick, 20, of Appleton, WI – 445.3
- Gavin Barnick, 20, of Appleton, WI – 582-29X
- Gabriela Zych, 18, Anchorage, AK – 579-23X
- Elijah Spencer, 18, Boise, ID – 579-19X
Air Rifle 3×20:
- Charles Bratton, 18, of Clover, SC – 425.8
- Riley Vines, 17, of Zion, IL – 418.8
- Kalinn White, 17, of Zion, IL – 409.9
- Katrina Demerle, 18, of Hamilton, Ohio – 466.2
- Natalie Welter, 13, of Parker, PA – 464.2
- Jacob Wisman, 17, of Independence, WV – 451.1
Air Rifle Overall Teams:
Sporter: Zion Benton High School Navy JROTC (Illinois) – 2185-68X
Precision: American Legion Post 295 (Ohio) – 2348-171X
60 Shot Rifle Final:
- Molly McGhin, 21, of Griffin, GA – 249.6
- Peter Fiori, 23, of Lebanon, NJ – 246.9
- Angeline Henry, 22, of Fort Worth, TX – 226.3
- Katrina Demerle, 18, of Hamilton, Ohio – 247.6
- Bremen Butler, 18, of Fort Wayne, IN – 246.2
- Brandon Evans, 18, of Poquoson, VA – 224.6
60 Shot Pistol Final:
- Suman Sanghera, 17, of Great Falls, VA – 234.7
- Sam Gens, 23, of Greenwood Village, CO – 233.5
- Bhavjeet Sanghera, 20, of Great Falls, VA – 212.2
- Suman Sanghera, 17, of Great Falls, VA – 241.6
- Blaine Simpson, 17, of Sidney, Ohio – 229.5
- Bhavjeet Sanghera, 20, of Great Falls, VA – 211.5
60 Shot Rifle Teams:
Open: USAMU (Jared Eddy, Molly McGhin, SPC Levi Clark) – 3738.1
Junior: Two Bears and a Bird (Bremen Butler, Elijah Spencer, Katrina Demerle) – 3711.5
60 Shot Pistol Teams:
Open: We Luv Emil Milev (Sam Gens, Katelyn Abeln, Anthony Lutz) – 3384-75X
Junior: Shooting Stars (Suman Sanghera, Bhavjeet Sanghera, Larissa Seiler) – 3259-65X
View a complete list of results on CMP’s Competition Tracker page at https://ct.thecmp.org/2023CPOresults. Photos of the event may be viewed and downloaded for free at https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f127146484.
— 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.