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June 17-19, 2016: Duluth Three Day Invitational Match – Northwestern Gun Club – Duluth, MN

Last updated on November 14th, 2017 at 06:39 am

 

This last weekend was the Annual Three Day 2400 Point OTC Tournament at the Northwestern Gun Club near Duluth. The weather report was questionable for the whole weekend. Luckily, the meteorologists were yet again wrong on just about all accounts and we had three beautiful days of OTC Competition.

Friday started out cloudy and calm. When the standing stage was over, Lornie Smith, Omer “The Hammer” Hamer, and Jeff “Never Practice” Jezierski were all barking at my heels. I knew that I would have to work hard in the rapids to keep my meager 4 point lead. In sitting rapid, Jim Fernandez and Omer “The Hammer” put up a 199.8X and a 199.7X, respectively. At the 300 yard line, I was able to squeak out a clean, but Jeff and Omer were charging hard right behind me, with a 199.6X and 198.8X. Back at 500, Mark Rohmann showed us all how to shoot prone. He cleaned the target with 9 X’s. Craig Bennis “The Menace” was not too far behind him, with a 197.5X. When the scores were tallied for the day, it was my 778.23X that took it, but only by X’s over Lornie Smith’s great 778.18X.

Day two was humid and a bit warmer with a light breeze.  In the lineup, we traded one hard charging Serviceman for another. We lost Lornie Smith for the day (he was busy cheering on his wife who ran Grandma’s Marathon) but gained Matt “The Champ” Griffin.  In standing, Dick “Bat-Shack Crazy” Van Valkenburg finally got out of the woods and shot a phenomenal 194.3X. Jeff was right behind him with a 190.5X. In sitting, Matt showed his skill with a 199.16X, but it was Dick that was still well ahead of the pack, putting up a 199.5X. At 300 yards, to no one’s surprise, Matt ”The Champ” had another knock out, with a 199.12X. He had to work hard to beat out the 199.9X put up by Bennis “The Menace”. At the 500 yard line, Matt and I traded some heavy punches both cleaning the target. When the dust settled, I took the win at the long line by 3 X’s. “The Champ” Matt Griffin won the day with a fantastic, but not surprising, 786.34X and “Bat-Shack Crazy” Van Valkenburg took 1st High Master, with a 776.20X.

Sunday, we lined up again for our final day and Lornie Smith was back with us. With his strong performance on Friday, Dick’s fine shooting Saturday, and Jeff’s strong performance overall, the day could be anyone’s. Surrounded by good company, I finally remembered that I actually play this game for fun. A positive attitude helped me to find my stride and shoot a standing score worth my pay grade. However, I knew my lead could quickly disappear all together in the rapid fire stages if I didn’t keep my head down and shoot well. In sitting and prone rapid, Matt again showed us how it’s done by cleaning up the targets at both yard lines, but it was only by X’s that Matt edged out Lornie’s clean in 200 yard rapid sitting and Jeff’s clean in 300 yard rapid prone. Matt had diminished my lead down to a meager 4 points and he was far ahead in X’s. A storm front was moving in and the wind started blowing hard. Big whitecaps were visible across the road on little Hunter Lake. I was nervous. I’m not great at reading the wind and Matt “The Champ” has that unholy military match ammo that seems to buck the wind better then a .223 should. We all had our go at lying down at the 500 yard line and shooting in the gusty conditions. Matt’s 195.6X was just ahead of Mark Romann’s 195.4X. I was able to put up a 197.9X for the win at the long line. I ended the day with a 789.29X and Matt took 1st High Master with a 783.34X.

I was lucky enough to win the grand aggregate for the weekend and Jeff “Never Practice” Jezierski took 1st High Master. I’d love to see the scores Jeff would shoot if he did.

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