The World Cup In A Minor Key
The 2014 Rhode Island State Indoor 3 Position Championship by Digby Hand
Shooting media attention was divided between the two major three position matches held on March 30, 2014: The Fort Benning World Cup and the Rhode Island State Indoor 3 Position Championship at Smithfield. The two events oddly mirrored each other as they both featured the best competitors in their shooting spheres, a similar course of fire, hair breath margins of victory, and the return to the competitive stage of noted shooting personalities.
Range officer Joe Graf got the match rolling only to see Dewar Team veteran Shawn Carpenter, former national champion Jeff Doerschler, and rising star Bailey Urbach begin the match in a three way 198 tie prone. With no center shots on the NRA/USA 50 target to break the tie scorer Nicole Panko compared scores on bull’s eyes, in reverse order, Sharpshooter Urbach fell first as her 19th shot was a nine and settled for class honors. Carpenter and Doerschler hung together for another seven shots but Carpenter prevailed. Marksmen Sophia Cuozzo, 191, Tyler Lefebvre, 189, Zach Wambganss topped their class.
Moving to the standing position Doerschler narrowly bested Intermediate Junior Maggie Flanders for match honors, 186 to 182, and giving himself a ten point pad on the pack, led by Carpenter and Flanders, who were nipping at his heels. Wambganss moved to the top of class with a nice 173 while Ruby Gomes gained a head of steam, closing the gap with Wambganss with a 171. Cuozzo stayed in contention posting a 167 for third in class.
Carpenter and Flanders both carded 187s kneeling but Doerschler slammed the door in their faces with a 195 which gave him a match winning aggregate of 579. Finding his second wind Hap Rocketto challenged Doerschler, They both started with a 98 but Doerschler’s 97 gave Rocketto no room to move up as he shot a disappointing 93. Flanders took high junior honors with her 562 while Urbach’s 555 was the best in the Sharpshooter class.
Gomes’ class winning scores in standing and kneeling gave her a two point edge over Wambganss, 544 to 542, and Lefebvre settled into third Sharpshooter with a 526.
The finish line lunge by Rocketto was good for a 191 which ties the senior kneeling National Record of 192 held by New Jersey’s Mandy Otero. It also gave Rocketto an aggregate of 562, tying him with Flanders who bested him on the basis of her superior standing score, but it was good enough for him to win the state title which is only open to legal residents of Rhode Island. Rebecca Green was named the junior champion.
Just as the Fort Benning World Cup marked Matt Emmons’ return to competition after winning a medal in the last Olympics so it was for Rocketto who last shot 3P individually when he won the national senior championship in 2012. While neither did as well as they would have liked Emmons gave sage shooting advice to all, Tweeting, “I always give it my best, today that's all I could do. I'm happy with it, saw some things to work on.”