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August 27-28, 2016: MN High Power OTC Regional Championship Match – Northwestern Gun Club – Duluth, MN

Last updated on April 6th, 2018 at 07:00 am

Northwestern Gun Club - Duluth, MN



MN High Power OTC Regional Championship Match - Northwestern Gun Club

The Northwestern Gun Club hosted a Regional OTC 4-Person Team and Individual Tournament last weekend, August 27th and 28th.  We were concerned about rain interfering with the weekend’s events, but it turned out to be calm, overcast, and cool for all of Saturday and most of Sunday.  The sun peaked out Sunday afternoon to wish us well as we finished up on the 500 yard line.

On Saturday, for the team tournament, we only had two 4-man teams and another pick-up team that ended up being one man short.  We fired a 50 round NMC course, which helped the day moved along at a healthy pace.  The NWGC team, led by Dick Van Valkenburg, finished with a 1921-57X.  The “green” Redwood County team, led and partially equipped by the efforts of Larry Weidell, shot their hearts out and finished with a1751-19X.  Team “One Man Short” finished with a 1413-28X.  If they'd had another person, I would have expected a score in the 1880’s or 1890’s out of them.  The small turn out on Saturday and the 50 round course of fire allowed for a relaxing pace with plenty of time for BS-ing during and after the match.  Plenty of smiles were everywhere to be seen.

For Sunday’s individual OTC tournament, there were 18 competitors, 5 shooting match rifles and 13 shooting service rifles.  Brad Yliniemi won the 200 yard standing match with a 197-3X.  Brandon Swanson shot a 189-3X for 1st Master.  Jeff Jezierski and Kirk Borlaug put up respectable scores of 188-6X and 188-4X, respectively.  Jeff Jezierski won the 200 yard sitting rapid fire match, shooting a clean with 8X’s.  Brandon Swanson again took 1st Master with a 198-4X. The 300 yard prone rapid fire match was won by Brad Yliniemi, shooting a 200-10X, barely beating out Dick Van Valkenburg’s 200-7X.  Not surprisingly, Brandon Swanson took 1st Master, with a 199-8X. For the 500 yard slow fire prone match, Brad Yliniemi shot a 198-12X for the win, again pulling a Creedmoor over on “Bat-Shack” Van Valkenburg.  This time, Jim Soderstrom took 1st Master with a 195-1X.

Brad Yliniemi was the overall match winner and took home the gold, with a score of 791-32X.  Brandon Swanson’s 778-17X won the silver and earned him high service rifle bragging rights.  Jim Biles didn’t win a match all day but his consistent scores totaled 777-23X, winning him the bronze.  Dick Van Valkenburg, Kirk Borlaug, Tom Torborg, R. Blaha, and the junior Zollner all earned first in class regional medals.

Despite the recent severe weather in Northern Minnesota, the Northwestern Gun Club Rifle Range was in tiptop shape thanks to the efforts of its dedicated members.  A special thanks goes out to Jim Fernandez for organizing the matches and to Elliot Zunich and Dale Wickstrom for calling the line and keeping us all moving throughout the matches.  A round of applause should also go out to Larry Weidell for getting a new shooter to the team match on Saturday and helping the Zollner family get involved in the sport.  

Don’t forget about the 9/11 Mid-Range Prone Match on the 10th and 11th of September at the NWGC. This year it’s the MN State Mid-Range Prone Championship, so it will be 2-person teams on Saturday and the individual matches on Sunday.  

Hope to see you there!



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