The 59th Western Wildcats Championship
Note: I have been very remiss in not citing my sources for these reports. Many think I am enjoying the warm sunshine of Arizona watching the matches when, in fact, I am hold up in cold and snowy Rhode Island. Like you I am viciously enjoying scoping the matches through the generous offices of my good friend Kevin Nevius, who is there fighting the conditions. At the end of each day he sends me a snapshot of the results bulletins before heading back to the motel for a refreshing shower and restorative dinner. Another shooting crony, Nancy Tompkins, sent in the Wakefield score sheet.
The Western Wildcat alternates sights each day. After a tight race with metallic sights on the first day most were expecting the same tough competition but a little gentler ride using scopes. However, the folks from the Midwest and the Southwest, which had been experiencing some close to record temperatures lows, were not use to the 90 degree temperature. Many had already shot the Metric Championships so they were entering the fourth day of a six day shooting marathon.
Our Correspondent In The Field, Kevin Nevius, opened the second day with a match winning 400-36X in the Dewar but had scant room for the win with Nick Mower and Allen Thomas both posting 400-35Xs for second and third. Daniel Erpenbach shot a 400-30X to be top Master with Adrian Harris, at 400-29X, close behind. Expert Mike Kelly’s 400-33X led the class as Jim Evenson came in second shooting a 399-27X. Hal Abel topped the combined Sharpshooter/Marksman class with a 400-29X.
In the Optics Category James Gaines’ 399-31X won with Phillip Meters, 398-20X, and Baker Del Cotto, 399-30X, leading the Master and Expert classes.
Jim Murphy continued his dominance in F-Class with a 387-31X followed by Jeff Huehn, 394-24X, Dan Paligari, 395-25X, and Barney Higgins, 393-25X.
Kerry Spurgin Creedmoored Eric Uptagrafft, both shooting a 40-34X, for the win at 100 yards as Nancy Tompkins, 400-33X, pulled into third. Erpenbach, 400-30X, repeated as top Master with Harris, 400-29X, again second. Brian Hunter and Kelly tied with 399-26Xs with the Expert class win going to Kelly after a quick look at the rulebook. A 398-25 shot by Vincent Herrera gave him a combined class win.
Ed Foley took the Optics 100 yard match with a 399-24X as Stuart Lind’s 398-28X bested the Masters. A 398-22X saw Kurt Ingham atop the Expert class.
Huehn, 397-27X, won F-Class. Bob De Pasque posted a 397-26X for Master class honors followed by Bob De Pasque and Pagalari, 397-26X and 395-25X respectively.
At 50 Meters Nevius roared back with a near perfect 400-39X for the match win. A pair of 400-38Xs fired by Mak Del Cotto and Richard Fowke placed second and third. Erpenbach posted the best Master score, a 400-35X, as Norman Lilyerd took second shooting a 400-33X. For the third time Kelley won Expert, this time with an excellent 400-38X, ahead of Hunter who put up a 399-33X. Chuck Eyeberg‘s 397-22X was the best combined class score for the match.
Myers won Optics on the back of a 400-32X while Arbia Massouris posted a 400-31X for first Master while Kevin Thomas’ 400-27X took the Experts.
Murphy tightened his grip on the F-Class aggregate by shooting a 398-31X at Meters for the win. George Crawford earned Master honors, 397-31X, followed by Pagliari, 397-32X, and Treder, 397-31X.
The day closed with Spurgin being perfect at 50 Yards, a 400-40X. Given the heat and long day he elected to not make a try at beating the 41 year old National Record of 400-40X plus an additional 165Xs shot by Mary Stidworthy/Sparling. Mower posted a 400-39X for second followed by McLemore’s 400-38X. Erpenbach bested the Masters with a 400-34X followed by Harris, who lost out to the winner on a tiebreaker. To no one’s surprise Kelly took the final match in the Expert class with his 400-36X. Mike Arnstein was four Xs behind him for second place. Paul Seyler broke into the winner’s circle in the combined class shooting a 400-34X.
Del Cotto, père, 400-36X, was the Optics match winner while Massouris won his second set of laurels in the Master class with a 400-31X. Frank Lucero Creedmoored Thomas for the Expert win, both having shot 399-26Xs.
Murphy took F-Class carding a 398-31X. Treder shot a 397-31X for first Master followed by Pagliari’s 397-23X and Ray Del Rio, 395-23X.
Aggregate totals saw Mower post the day’s only 1600. His clean, with 144Xs, gave him the daily aggregate and a coveted Wildcat sweatshirt. Spurgin was a point and an X behind the leader, 1599-143X, for second. Del Cotto, fils, 1599-141X was third overall.
Erpenbach shot the second of two 1600s on the day, 1600-130X, for the Master class title while Harris’ 1599-116X was second. Kelly swept the Expert class with five out of five wins, his 1599-133X taking the day. Hunter posted a 1594-115X for second. The combined class went to Eyberg’s 1591-90X.
Myers won Optics posting a 1596-100X for the day. Foley was first master, 1594-117X as Thomas won Expert with a score of 1594-102X.
A 1586-112X gave the F-Class prize to Murphy followed by the usual F-Class suspects, Huehn, 1581-102X, Pagliari, 1580-103X, and Treder at 1578-107X.
Going into day three the first name of the leaderboard was Uptagrafft, 3199-264X, followed by Del Cotto, 3198-269X, and Peter Church, 3197-230X, who quietly slipped into third. Only four points separate the top six shooters with Nevius, Mower, and Thomas all still in the game.