Cleland Cleans Oliver Hazard Perry Match at 2018 National Matches

By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer

CAMP PERRY, Ohio – Firing a perfect score in the Oliver Hazard Perry Match and winning overall was SGT Ben Cleland, 25, of the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU), with an incredible score of 300-21x. The match was held during the annual National Trophy Rifle Matches in July.

SGT Ben Cleland was the fired a perfect score in the Oliver Hazard Perry Match. He was also the recipient of the Pershing Trophy.

SGT Cleland was the reigning champion of the Oliver Hazard Perry event – winning during its inaugural year in 2017 with another noteworthy score of 299-11x. During the 2018 National Rifle Matches, SGT Cleland also earned the Pershing Trophy as the highest scoring competitor of the National Trophy Team Match, with a remarkable score of 499-30x.

“Coming into the National Matches, I really wanted to win everything, but, it’s a rough crowd,” SGT Cleland teased.

He went on to say that one of his biggest goals was to outshoot teammate SFC Brandon Green, who had a remarkable showing at this year’s National Matches – becoming the first competitor to ever fire a perfect score in the coveted President’s Rifle Match and earning the Mountain Man Trophy as the overall rifle competitor of the Matches.

Outside of the friendly rivalry, Cleland commends Green for the lessons he has passed down to him, saying, “I would consider him my biggest mentor. He’s definitely the person that inspired me to be the best I could be.”

Coming in a close second behind Cleland in the Oliver Hazard Perry Match and also firing an outstanding score was David Geyer, 43, of Phoenix, AZ, who also cleaned each stage for an overall score of 300-14x. SSG Kristoffer Friend, 32, of the U.S. Army Reserve, earned the third place spot with a score of 299-12x.

The Oliver Hazard Perry Match is part of the Commemorative rifle events designed for the National Matches at Camp Perry. The competition is for service rifles, fired at 200, 300 and 600 yards.

Brian Williams of Granby, MA, was the four-gun aggregate winner for the second year.

Winning the Roosevelt Commemorative Match, another Commemorative Match, was Brian Williams, 44, of Grandy, MA – firing a score of 288-6x with a 1903 rifle. Williams was also the winner of the Four-gun Aggregate competition during the National Games events for the second consecutive year.

Following in second and third, respectively, was Douglas Armstrong, 58, of Lexington, NC, and John Monty, also of Granby, both with scores of 283-4x.

Meghann Beaver nabbed the High Junior honor in the Roosevelt competition.

High Junior of the event was Meghann Beaver, 19, of Indianapolis, IN, with a score of 276-4x – 12thplace over a field of over 180 competitors. Rich Appel, 65, of Holyoke, MA, earned the title of High Senior, as Lee McKinney, 71, of Rio Rico, AZ, took home the High Grand Senior honor.

Rich Appel was the High Senior in the Roosevelt Match.

The Roosevelt Commemorative Match is open to Springfield rifles and Krag-Jorgensen rifles – manufactured under license by the Springfield Armory between 1892 and 1903 and served as the long arm during the Spanish-American War. The match is fired from 200 yards.

Lee McKinney earned the High Grand Senior title in the Roosevelt event.

For a complete list of results, visit the CMP Competition Tracker page at https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=match&task=edit&match=16353&tab=results.

Photos of the National Matches can be found on the CMP Zenfolio page for viewing and free download at https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f817385512

ADMIN NOTE: In 2019, the CMP will replace the Oliver Hazard Perry Match with Squadded Practice.

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