The Fort Bragg Clay Target Center in Spring Lake, North Carolina, was the site for the Paratrooper Open on July 12-14, drawing a total of 98 competitors, including five Sub-Junior, 18 Junior and three Collegiate shooters. We were pleased to welcome shooters from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. Despite very high temperatures and a heat index around 100, shooters persevered and posted great scores.
Stuart Brown won HOA with a 399. HOA runner-up was Henry Hardin (397), and Katherine Adams won a shoot-off of 395s to take gun third. HOA plaques were also awarded to Trace Davis, Sub-Junior Champion with a 385; Henry Hardin, Junior Champion; and Katherine Adams, Lady Champion. HOA class winners were Michael Schmidt (AAA), Riley Dellinger (AA), Tom Myaard (A), Chris Brown (B), Ron Hostinsky (C), and Josh Parks (D).
There were three 99s in Doubles. Michael Schmidt won the shoot-off for champion, Riley Dellinger was runner-up, and Larson Harkins came in third. Class winners were Thomas Miles (AAA), Alison Boyette (AA), Mason Watkins (A), Matthew Eller (B), William Davis (C) and Aryssa Bowland (D). Sub-Junior Champion was Trace Davis, Junior was Larson Harkins, Collegiate was Riley Dellinger, and Lady Champion was Alison Boyette.
Twelve competitors shot perfect scores in the 12-gauge event, making for an exciting shoot-off. Bruce Colclough was champion, Henry Hardin runner-up and Stuart Brown third. Class winners were Kevin Suitt (AAA), Jay Bunting (AA), Bill Wilson (A), Anna Wood (B), Bobby Jeffers (C), John Jones (D) and Hadley Russell (E). The youth winners each shot perfect 100s: Trace Davis, Sub-Junior; Henry Hardin, Junior; and Noah Dove, Collegiate. Anna Wood, a Junior shooter, won Lady Champion with a score of 99.
Michael Schmidt won the 20-gauge shoot-off, with Thomas Myaard runner-up and Katherine Adams third. C
lass winners were Larson Harkins (AAA), Scott Graham (AA), Grayson Williams (A), William Grubb (B), Ron Hostinsky (C) and John Parker (D).
After shoot-offs Saturday evening, shooters and guests socialized over a meal of fried chicken, sides, and a smorgasbord of desserts. Surprisingly, many shooters still had energy and participated in a challenging shooting game where random teams of two shooters shot trap targets from the skeet stations – very entertaining and a lot of laughs for the shooters and observers.
The 28-gauge shoot-off, with six perfect scores of 100, resulted in Katherine Adams winning the championship, Kevin Hostinsky runner-up, Grayson Williams third, Henry Hardin AA1, Corrie Cloninger A1, and Ron Hostinsky B1. Other class winners were Jay Bunting (AAA), Josh Parks (C) and Josie Cloninger (D). Sub-Junior Champion was Trace Davis, Junior Champion was Grayson Williams, Collegiate Champion was Riley Dellinger, and Lady Champ was Katherine Adams.
Stuart Brown won the final event, the .410 Bore, with the only score of 100. Runner-up was Riley Dellinger (99). Scores of 98 shot off, with Michael Schmidt winning third, Katherine Adams AAA1, Mark Smith AA1 and Henry Hardin A1. Wally Merritt was B1, John Parker C1, and Peter Ruffin D1. Sub-Junior Champion was Trace Davis, Junior Champion Henry Hardin, Collegiate Champion was Riley Dellinger and Katherine Adams was Lady Champion.
Several shooters met personal goals at this shoot and had their hats shot. Anna Wood, a Junior, shot her first 75 straight in 12 gauge. Josie Cloninger, a Sub-Junior in her first year of shooting, shot her first 25 straight in both 20 gauge and .410 bore. Ron Hostinsky shot his first-ever 100 straight in the 28-gauge event. Addison Samson, a Junior, shot her first 25 straight in .410 Bore. Also, Hadley Russell shot her personal best of 93 in the 12-gauge event and a 94 in the 20-gauge event.
The weekend was a great success and was possible through the help of many folks. Thanks to the Fort Bragg Clay Target Center manager and staff—the targets were great, and first-time attendees were complimentary of the facility. Thanks to the referees for all their hard work in the Carolina heat and humidity! Also, to all the shooters, parents and spouses who volunteered to help with everything from keeping water on the fields, to setting up meals and clean-up, our sincere appreciation.
– Contributed by Belinda and Jim Tiner