Last updated on November 19th, 2017 at 06:38 am
2016 Wisconsin State Mid Range Championship: Return of the Man-Boy
The invention of the wheel. The Wright Brothers’ first flight at Kitty Hawk. The Apollo moon landing. The falling of the Berlin Wall. There are certain events in human history that change everything going forward, and leave an indelible mark on each and every one of us. Will Morgen Dietrich’s accomplishments this past weekend at the La Crosse Rifle Club in La Crosse, WI leave the same mark on civilization? Only time will tell.
The weekend began like so many others have – with dozens of eager shooters mulling around, hoping for clear skies and dry grass by match time. While Mother Nature refused to deliver either of those, what she did give up was even better: dead calm winds. LRC is known for mild conditions, but this day was one in a million. Our hero Man-Boy Dietrich brought his 6BR to the line for match #1 determined not to let it go to waste. There were many good scores fired in that first match, but Morgen’s 200-19x stood well above the rest. This score would have tied the NRA record for 600 yards with Any Sight until just this summer, when it was bested at Camp Perry. So, while this wasn’t a national record, Morgen followed it up with another 20-19x in match #2 – I would bet that no one has done that before. The rest of us could only look on in awe as the prone shooting clinic continued. I was pretty pleased at the end of the day to record my first-ever perfect MR score to join the ranks of the elite “800 Club”, but even this could not stop the Man-Boy. Morgen shot his own 800, but with 64 X’s to top it off. Think about that for a moment, only 16 of his shots for the day fell outside the X-ring. After seeing the plot sheet from his first 19x clean of the day, I can’t imagine that any of those 16 was out by much.
Waylon Burbach and Randy Gregory were neck-and-neck at the end of the first day for the WI state title, both shot 797’s with Randy holding a 1X lead. The F-Class matches also saw some tall scores with Kent Weigel on top with a scorching 799-57x, and Bob Mead, Ryan Pierce, and Bob Sebold all just a single point back with 798’s. Ken Klemm had the FTR title all but wrapped up by Saturday afternoon, with his 795-44x giving him a full 6-point lead on his closest competition. As long as he didn’t make any major errors on Sunday, he should be able to cruise to an easy victory.
The sun was out on Sunday morning as we reported to the clubhouse for squadding. It was going to be quite a bit warmer than yesterday, with jungle-like humidity, but still calm winds. Not as calm, but calm enough that a good shooter should be able to make some good things happen if he paid attention. I felt good about shooting my 2nd 200-16x of the weekend in the first match of the day, but it would only be good enough for 2nd place as Morgen continued the domination by shooting a 200-17x. Oh well, I guess we could all see where this was going. He followed that up with 200-15x, 200-15x, and 200-9x to finish the day with his second consecutive 800, this time with a mere 56 X’s. All said, his final weekend agg was an astonishing 1600-120x! That’s a 75% x-count over 2 days, with nothing worse than a 10. For some reason the NRA does not keep national records for either the 800 or 1600 point Mid Range course, or I am sure that these would surpass them. I am planning to contact my congressional representatives to urge them to pass new legislation to officially recognize these scores.
As the rules stipulate that only a WI resident can be the WI State Champion, the race was still on for the Wisconsinites. Young Waylon Burbach pulled ahead of the rest of the WI gang on Sunday, and his 798-41x only trailed Morgen’s ridiculous score in Sunday’s agg. Combined with the 797 the day before, Waylon’s excellent 1595-89x was good enough to seal up his 2nd straight state Mid Range title on the sling side, and 3rd place overall for the weekend.
There were no surprises on Sunday in F-Class, as both leaders from Day 1 gave no ground and rolled to victory on Sunday. Kent Weigel Matched Morgen’s Sunday score of 800-64x to get his name on the F-Open trophy, and Ken Klemm added a solid 791-36x to his total agg to earn his place on the next line on the FTR version.
You’ll have to read the scores to get the rest of the story, but rest assured that a good time was had by all.
Special thanks to Sandy and Chris for their most excellent match directing and stat wrangling, Bill Quadzinski for keeping the match moving at a good pace, John in the pits making sure the targets kept moving, and to the crew that provided the cookout on Saturday. Last but definitely not least, thanks to Mike Roach and crew for the always-fun “extracurricular” post-match activities on Saturday! This is one of my favorite matches to shoot every year, can’t wait to see everyone again in 2017!