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5th Annual Challenge - 2001
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Joe Garcia receives Match Winner
Award from James Linthicum


Joe Garcia

The 2001 East West Challenge Match is in the books with a match winner who is getting a little "long in the tooth" but it just proves that age, even a pile of it, is no barrier to winning a top match. Joe Garcia pulled out the victory with two 30s shot in the tough conditions on the Kansas prairie. Joe’s score sets a new National Record for a Senior shooter in a 2-day match. Matt Carter wound up in 2nd place, 1 shot back, lamenting the 3 pigs left on the rail during the 2-day match.

For those of you who have never shot at the Miller, Kansas facility before, the range has its own set of difficulties to contend with. You have white animals set against a fairly dark dirt background. Ordinarily, this forms a pretty desirable sight picture but those who shot in the first couple relays on Saturday can attest that a high, bright sky coupled with a little haze/fog creates a tough condition. Matt Carter left 2 pigs on the rail Saturday morning which basically meant the difference in the match.

There were plenty of opportunities to pick up those additional targets but everyone was struggling with shifting conditions during both days. The point being made is that every animal counts because the difference between the top spots is generally no more than 1 or 2 targets at most.

Due to the dearth of East shooters, the dividing line between the East and West was moved to the Kansas/Missouri line instead of the Mississippi River. We truly need to encourage the guys and gals from the true "East" to attend this match. BPCR, Inc., the host of the match, always seems to scrounge up a nice group of prizes to distribute and I’m sure that should be an enticement for the East to attend. Not to mention that the record now is 5-0, five wins for the West to none for the East.

Past years have seen conditions that ranged from good to tornadic. Saturday of the 2001 contest featured some of the best weather we’ve seen in recent years. High sky, clear, warm, and a fairly gentle Southeast breeze were the order of the day on Saturday. Typical Kansas weather started rearing its head on Sunday, however. Light rain and total overcast greeted early arrivals to the range with a light Southeast wind. As the day progressed, the wind freshened to a steady howl of about 15 MPH with gusts easily surpassing 20 MPH.

Then, the cloud cover broke late in the afternoon and the great sight pictures we had been blessed with evaporated and the bright sun came out. Totally new sight pictures presented themselves, once again, and the late relays seemed to suffer the effects. Shooting on this range is not a piece of cake but the aggravation is worth it. This is a pleasant bunch of guys and gals to spend a couple of days with burning powder.

Needless to say, Dyan Rochelle was once again top female shooter breaking her own National Record for a one day and a two day match. Dyan won the first day’s competition following a shoot off with Joe Garcia who almost ran out of ammo. A coin toss after 2 rounds of 5 chickens, with only 1 hit between them, gave Dyan the win. Joe shot the next day’s 40 shot match with only 45-46 rounds so sighters were at a premium.

The "Top Guns" for this year’s edition of the East/West Challenge were Joe Garcia, Match Winner and High Senior; Matt Carter, 1st Master; Dyan Rochelle, 2nd Master and High Woman; Anthony Griggs, 3rd Master; Lee Shaver, 1st AAA; John Walters, 2nd AAA; Justin Scott, 3rd AAA; Greg Jackson, 1st AA; Bill Ingalls, 2nd AA; Larry Landrith, 3rd AA; Dave Griffin, 1st A; Larry Sterling, 2nd A; Tex Hrabe, 3rd A; Billy Stone III, High Junior. There was a total of 63 shooters at this year’s contest and we certainly need more competitors from the East. I don’t know what it’s going to take to get you guys and gals east of the Mississippi to attend but you’re missing a great match.

Hold Center,
Tom Berwick

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