TEAM USA UPSET AT CROSMAN ALL-AMERICAN FIELD TARGET CHAMPIONSHIP
Jul. 18, 2016
Source: Crosman press release
Bloomfield, New York -- Summer's hottest shooting competition lived up to the billing with the 7th running of the Crosman All-American Field Target Championship as 80 shooters from across the country plus Canada and Puerto Rico competed over two days at Rochester Brooks International Gun Club in western New York. The match featured a 120-shot rifle course and a 30-shot pistol course with awards presented in nine competition classes.
Joel Gupta of Westampton, New Jersey put together the most complete performance of the weekend, placing fourth in his rifle division with 106 points and winning his pistol division with 36. The combined total of 142 secured the All-Around title by five points over Puerto Rico's Manuel Morales.
The World Field Target Federation (WFTF) division utilizes the international standard of 12 foot-pound rifles. Greg Sauve of Green Bay, Wisconsin is a member of Team USA and a top international competitor; he previously won WFTF PCP class in 2011, 2012 and 2014. After Day 1 of the 2016 CAAFTC he led by a single point and finished with a score of 110. Three shooters tied for second with a 106 and Brian Vandenboom of Winthrop Harbor, Illinois won in a shootoff while Jeff Paddock of Olmsted Falls, Ohio fell to third and Tyler Patner of Solon, Ohio placed fourth.
Manuel Morales of Puerto Rico led wire-to-wire in WFTF Piston class and finished with a score of 104. Jerry LaRocca of Liverpool, NY finished second with a 101 and Ray Apelles of Somers, New York secured third with a 99.
Manuel Gonzales of Puerto Rico had the high score among all shooters with an impressive 111, winning the Open Division over Paul Porch of Watha, North Carolina. Porch and Mike Harris of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania tied with scores of 105 and Harris took third after a shootoff.
The popular Hunter Division, PCP class remained close all weekend with the top eight shooters within four shots of each other after the first day, led by brothers Dennis and Thomas Himes of Lewis Run, Pennsylvania. Dennis was able to land one more shot with his Benjamin Marauder rifle, besting his brother and winning the division with a score of 110. Crosman prostaffer Bill Rabbitt of Chester, Ohio took third after a shootout with Joel Gupta of Westampton, New Jersey. John Cimbalo of Bloomfield, New York placed fifth.
Keith Walters of New Middletown, Ohio finished a score of 90 to take the Hunter Division, Piston Class over Jim Cyran of Fair Oaks, California at 89. Kevin Kunkle of Sugar Run, Pennsylvania placed third.
Craig Evans of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania won the Freestyle Division with a score of 94.
The air pistol match took place on Saturday afternoon and Larry Bowne of Levittown, Pennsylvania won the Hands Class with a score of 10. Joel Gupta won Hunter Class with a 36 and Nathan Thomas of Pleasant Valley, New York won second in a shootoff with Kevin Kunkle after the two finished tied up at 34. Manuel Morales won his first medal of the weekend with a 33 in Open Class, followed by Jerry LaRocca with a 31. These two would also go on to finish 1-2 in Open Piston in the rifle match.
The biggest surprise of the weekend in the friendly Team Side Match where Team USA has never lost. Puerto Rico, led by medal-winning performances from Manuel Gonzales and Manuel Morales and a strong finish by Pedro Abreu Mendez, wrested the title with a team high score of 317. Team SPC Air Rifle Tuning, led by brothers Dennis and Thomas Himes with Keith Walters, finished second with 309. Tim MacSweyn, Dennis Eden and Jeff Paddock led Team Canada to a 308. Team USA, driven by Greg Sauve, Ray Apelles and Hector Medina-Gomez, fell to fourth overall.
A highlight of the event was the presentation of a new Benjamin Maximus PCP air rifle to 12 year old Jamir Harris of Philadelphia. Jamir shot his first match alongside his father, Mike, and was named the Junior Shooter of the match. Another junior, 17 year old Joseph Snyder of Alfred Station, New York, competed in his first match and shot an impressive 52 in Open Division.
The weekend began with the Quigley Bucket Challenge in which shooters attempt to knock down a 1.5 inch tall target at 55 yards with a 12 foot-pound air rifle. The challenge is a recreation of a 700 yard shot by Tom Selleck's character in the 1990 film "Quigley Down Under", scaled for airguns. Rossi Morreale, host of television's "American Airgunner" won the challenge with two successful hits on the target.
The PyramydAir "Gunslynger" tournament is a head-to-head silhouette competition that requires a steady aim, fast shooting, and quick reloads. Eric Brewer placed 1st in Springer Division, followed by Nathan Thomas in second and Ray Apelles placing third. Crosman prostaffer Bill Rabbitt won the PCP Division while Greg Sauve took second and third place going to Jeff Paddock.