By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
CAMP PERRY, Ohio – The Civilian Marksmanship Program’s (CMP) 2019 National Trophy Rifle Matches brought several individual and historic firsts. From long-sought wins to those that seemingly arose out of fate, the tradition of the unexpected again brought excitement to the grounds of Camp Perry just as it has for over 110 years during the summer months.
During the prestigious President’s Rifle event, SSG John Coggshall, 34, of the U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG) team, topped the field of 1,063 competitors with a score of 390-14x.
“I can’t really explain it right now. It doesn’t seem real,” he said, following the accompanying Shoot Off where he secured his victory. “I’ve always thought of myself as a competitor that had the ability, it’s just some years didn’t pan out.”
Coggshall has made the President’s Shoot Off since 2004 and has previously made it as high as eighth place overall. His past experiences at the National Matches and in the challenging event prepared him for the range conditions and the pressure that builds on the firing line.
“After I shot 100 standing, I knew I was on the right track,” he said. “I just felt natural shooting. It all came together.”
The 2019 National Matches was a milestone for Coggshall, who has been making consecutive trips to Camp Perry each summer since 1999 when he came as a junior competitor from Connecticut.
“[The President’s Rifle win] was a good way to cap off that,” he said.
In attendance for Coggshall’s big moment on the range was his junior coach, SFC Bradford Palmer (retired). Along with Coggshall, Palmer was also the junior coach of Coggshall’s former junior teammates and current outstanding marksmen, 2015 President’s Rifle winner SSG Kristoffer Friend and U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit member and the 2019 Overall High Woman competitor, SSG Amanda Elsenboss.
“You just give them the information and let them go out there with it,” Palmer said modestly.
Coggshall collected the actual target that was used downrange during the Shoot Off as a memento from his remarkable win. He plans to proudly display it in his house as a reminder of the hard work he’s put in as a marksman, military member and as an individual.
“Being a Guard soldier, being able to take time off of work as an electrician and still be able to come out and do this is something I’m very proud of. That’s what I take away from it,” Coggshall said, with a smile.
High Junior of the President’s Rifle Match was Brad Schoenemann, 19, of Lodi, WI, who finished 15thoverall. Robert Gill, 60, of Visalia, CA, earned the High Senior title and 11thoverall. High Woman was SSG Erin McNeil, 31, of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU), who fired a respectable score of 384-11x for 17thoverall.
In the National Trophy Individual Match (NTI), SP4 Daniel Lowe, 26, of the U.S. Army Reserve earned an impressive score of 497-15x. Only his third trip to the National Matches, Lowe, an Olympian in Men’s Air and 3-Position Rifle, had reached as far as 12thplace in the match – besting his previous scores and landing only a few points shy of the current NTI Record currently held by SFC Brandon Green.
Representing the CMP Rifle team was Nick Till, 45, of Howell, MI, who earned the High Civilian honor and third place overall, along with Sara Rozanski, 41, of Elmore, OH, who nabbed the High Woman title and fifth overall – only falling to Till in a close x-count. High Junior of the match was Koa Van Hoven, 16, of San Rafael, CA, with a score of 491-17x.
James Fox, 34, of Albany, OR, arose as one of the biggest success stories of the Matches – earning the Mountain Man Trophy as the overall competitor in the President’s, NTI and NTT events with an aggregate score of 1287-60x. For his performances, Fox received several honors, including 13thoverall in the President’s event, the second-highest scoring civilian of the NTI and fourth overall, the Alice Bull Trophy as the High Civilian of the President’s and NTI, the Pershing Trophy as the highest individual of the NTT and the Pietroforte Trophy as the High Civilian of the NTI and NTT matches.
Nathan Russell, 37, of Emlenton, PA, was the overall winner of the M16 Rifle Match, with a score of 394-14x – cleaning both the slow fire prone and rapid fire prone stages. The match accompanies the Small Arms Firing School conducted each year. Top scorers receive Excellence-In-Competition points towards a Distinguished Badge.
The High Individual earning points in the match was junior Seth Hartbarger, 17, of Hayden, AL. Hartbarger finished fourth overall in the match with a score of 392-9x.
For a complete list of results of the National Trophy Rifle events, visit the CMP Competition Tracker page at https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=match&task=edit&match=18060&tab=results.
Photos of the events can be found on the CMP’s Zenfolio page: https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f430049319