Summer Finally Arrives with John K. Lee Match, by Deb Lyman, Held May 9 & 10, 2015 – hosted by Blue Trail Range, Wallingford, CT …
Weather in New England has stayed on course for the last couple of years with the eastern states skipping spring and going from frigid winter conditions directly into the heat of the summer! Also remaining true to form was the start of a great outdoor smallbore rifle season on May 9 & 10 at the Blue Trail Range (BTR) in Wallingford, Connecticut, with the John K. Lee match. Following past history, this tournament introduces “new” shooters to the more advanced “techniques” of firing outdoors vs. indoors by having to deal with tricky wind, light, and mirage conditions. In order to help cope with the nuances, junior shooters are paired with more “seasoned” senior masters for training purposes. So, how is all this done?
Shooters arrive at the range, registering as a junior or senior shooter. Junior names are written down on a piece of paper and thrown into an old range officer’s hat (when it can be located)/or a suitable substitute. Now, as we all know, Connecticut has some darn good junior shooters in the state. So, when veteran senior Leonard Remaly pulled Michael Acampora’s name from the hat, audible groans could be heard. More grumbling could be heard when Dale Petty drew Jacob Lagace’s name; moans continued as just-turned senior shooter Kristina D’Agostino drew Kaitlyn Kutz’s name. So, three “stacked” teams walked to the firing line. When the scores were posted, it was the Remaly/Acampora team total of 1588 that easily outdistanced the other two teams and won the coveted John K. Lee trophies (every competitor wants at least one for their collection)! Firing a 1575 for the John K Lee 2nd Place medallions were the two girls, Kristina and Kaitlyn. Petty & Lagace, seven points behind with a team total of 1568, settled for 5th place medals.
There are times when not enough senior shooters are willing to dust the cobwebs off of their rifles so one junior had to step up to the plate and fire as a Senior. This was the case with Patrick Sardo; although still a junior, he put on a “Senior” hat for the day and drew Dylan’s name. Patrick just signed a letter of intent with The Ohio State “Buckeye” Varsity Rifle Team so he was more than happy to take on the leadership role and guide them to their 3rd place medallion finish with a score of 1574.
Selecting teams at random does not always mean a team walks away from the registration table with a veteran/novice pair. Sometimes, both team members drag their equipment to the line and wonder how they will ever survive as both are novices to the game; such as in the case of Sean Lagace and Max Rook. But, they listened to the coaches on the firing line shouting out instructions and sight corrections to junior shooter, applied their directives to their individual match, and managed to scoop-up the 10th place finish medals. At the end of the day, everyone agreed that they had had a great day, lots of laughs, and had finally enjoyed some nice warm weather doing what they like to do best—shooting shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers!
The next day—Mother’s Day—found the competitors back to the firing line but for a prone 1600 aggregate individual match. Proving that two weeks of “boot camp” with Coach David Lyman, practicing in the late afternoon with a group of BTR shooters preparing for the upcoming USA Shooting Outdoor National Championships, was worth the time and effort, Kaitlyn Kutz from Greenwich, easily won the match with a “reading the wind perfectly” score of 1591. Sydney Katz, Cos Cob, who in her own right has a great success story of shooting competitively for just a little over a year and yet has earned a spot with the University of Kentucky “Wildcats” Varsity Rifle Team, was declared 1st Master/Expert with her final score of 1575. Firing two points behind was Jacob Lagace with a 1573 for 1st Marksman. All three of these shooters have four more weeks of Lyman’s boot camp and will then be off to Ft. Benning for the nationals—we wish them the best of luck! Rounding out 2nd Marksman was BTR’s Harrison Callahan with a 1553. New to outdoor shooting, and sporting brand new custom clothing, he is definitely going to be a force to reckon with before the summer is over. Finally, it was time to pack up and go and find a mother or grandma or two and celebrate Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, especially those that graciously allowed their husbands, siblings, and kids to spend part of the day at the range first … hey, who are you kidding? … they probably enjoyed the “me” time.
Don’t forget that the President’s Match will be fired this Sunday, May 17. Call David Lyman at 203-269-3280 to register.
Click here for complete program Program John K Lee 2015.05.09 and 2015.05.10
Click here for complete results Results John K Lee Doubles and 1600 2015.05.09 and 2015.05.10
Blue Trail Range Match Results