Team USA Overwhelms Team Canada, Team Venezuela
Medina Wins 3rd Straight WFTF Piston Title
Rushton Wins WFTF PCP Title
Sauve Wins Quigley Challenge in Double Overtime
The 2013 Northeast Regional Field Target Championship (NRFTC), hosted by Crosman Corporation, concluded with international teams from Venezuela and Canada competing alongside Team USA. Over one hundred competitors participated in the two-day airgun match, single day air pistol match and Quigley Bucket Challenge. ”What began as a helping hand to a local field target club has grown into the largest regional competition sanctioned by the American Field Target Association” said Mark DeBoard, Crosman’s Shooting Services Manager, of the event hosted by the company on their Bloomfield, New York campus.
See all the photos from the event on our Flickr page.
Crosman Corporation first hosted the event in 2010 when the traditional site became unavailable. The event has continued to grow year after year. The 2013 NRFTC had more youth shooters than in past years including 8-year old Tyler Post and his brother, 12-year old Brent. They were accompanied by their father and grandfather. Sixteen year old Sydney McDaniel began shooting with her father, Sean, and this event was her first competition. And there was 16-year old A.J. “JrSquirreler” Stewart who first competed last year, traveling with his aunt and a cousin. This year his father came along after spending time in the sport with his son.
The big draw was Team USA as they prepare to attend the World Field Target Federation Championship in Germany in August. Nine members of the 15-member team were on hand including past NRFTC champions Hector Medina, Greg Sauve and Harold Rushton. They were joined by five shooters of Team Venezuela and when a few Canadian participants formed Team Canada, the international side match was on. Scores were based on the team aggregate and after Day 1 it was Team USA (41.33) leading Team Canada (38.83) and Team Venezuela (36.80). Anchored by Rushton, Sauve and Ray Apelles, Team USA took the weekend with an aggregate score of 88.66. Team Canada finished with 78.66 and Team Venezuela posted a 72.60.
Hector Medina won his first NRFTC WFTF Piston title in 2011 and successfully defended it the following year. After Day 1 he was in a dead heat with fellow Team USA member Keith Knoblauch and just three points ahead of Art Deuel. “Lanes 16-30 are deceptively difficult,” commented DeBoard. “Situated along the front lawn of the campus, depth perception on the hillside and especially the wind, which can get pretty squirrelly over there, make those lanes the toughest of the two sides.”
Sunday was a broiler in terms of both the heat index and the competition pressure cooker. Medina shot a 47 to finish with an 86, six shots better than Knoblauch.
Harold Rushton drove 14 hours from Alabama to make this year’s Northeast Regional. “Crosman does a great job, the top shooters are here and to have Team Venezuela here gives it a world-class atmosphere which is good preparation for the worlds next month,” said Rushton. He led by just one point after the difficult front side of Lanes 16-30, ahead of Dan Brown who scored a 53. Rushton commented that a lead is nice after Day 1, “but these are some of the best shooters in the country.”
He was right. A third of the class finished with over 100 successful shots.
Field target’s Hunter class is the fastest growing segment of the sport. The class rules allow a shooter to closely replicate an actual hunting setup, from gun to seating to the use of bipods, and is a comfortable entry to the sport. John Tyler posted a 52 to take a one point lead over Chris Helm and a logjam of shooters. But it was Bill Day who rose to the occasion on Sunday to surge forward and finished in a tie with Jerry LaRocca. Bill won in a shootoff. Greg Shirhall finished tied for third with Chris Helm and won the shootoff by default after Helm left the event early.
Bill also won in 2010 and placed third in 2012.
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There was nevery any doubt after Paul Manktelow posted a 40 on Day 1. He added a 41 on Day to finish well in front. The drama was in his rearview mirror.
Nicolas Gregoris had a handle on second place before his optic gave way. He finished fourth.
Jeff Hanson finished strong using a pre-production Benjamin UL77. He’s a design engineer for Crosman and spent Saturday evening and Sunday morning repairing a trigger that let go shortly after the end of Day 1. “It was an old trigger pack we had been using for design, not performance. Once swapped out with a production pack I was able to turn things around,” said Hanson.
Tyler Patner posted the only 50+ score on Day 1 and remained consistent on Day 2 to take the class. Dennis Eden struggled on the open day but a 53 moved him from fourth to second by the end of the event.
A single point separated Tony Narracci and David Fontaine after Day 1. A second 40+ outing and Narracci was able to pull away.
The Pistol competition portion of the 2013 NRFTC took place Saturday afternoon on lanes 1-15. Of a possible score of 30, Craig Evans posted the top score for all pistol classes of 24.
Dan Brown won the Hands-Supported class. Evans won Hunter, just a point ahead of Hunter (Rifle) winner Bill Day. Jerry LaRocca won the Open class with a 19.
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Quigley Bucket Challenge
Always a favorite pre-event competition, the Quigley Bucket Challenge is a re-creation of the dramatic scene in the film “Quigley Down Under” starring Tom Selleck in which Selleck’s character must shoot a bucket at an estimated 700 yards. Scaled for airguns, this equates to a 1.75″ target placed at 55 yards. Shooters must use a 6.5 ft lb rifle using only open / iron / non-magnified sights.
The Quigley had 45 shooters try five shots apiece. Just eight hit the bucket and after two overtimes, Greg Sauve was the only shooter to repeat the feat, besting Harold Rushton, Nicolas Gregoris, Dean Buczek, Bill Day, Larry Bowne, David Fontaine and Richard Basset.
Mark Your Calendar
Dates for the 2014 have already been set: July 11, 12, 13. Book your hotel and make your plans now to be here! Registration will open in February.
To see more photos from the event, please visit our Flickr page.