Dunfey Bests Teammates Through Windy Conditions to Win Prestigious President’s Rifle Match
August 13, 2014Civilian Marksmanship Program▸The First Shot▸Dunfey Bests Teammates Through Windy Conditions to Win Prestigious President’s Rifle Match
By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
CAMP PERRY, OH – Shifting winds made for an exciting finish to the always-anticipated President’s Rifle Match, fired on July 22 at the National Matches. A group of 1,126
competitive marksmen ascended the firing line at Camp Perry for a chance to become members of the historic President’s Hundred or even receive his or her name engraved on the esteemed President’s Rifle Trophy.
During the match, competitors follow the President’s Rifle Match Course of Fire, consisting of standing, as well as slow and rapid fire prone positions at 200, 300 and 600 yards. First fired in 1903, the event is arguably the most prestigious event offered for individual rifleman during the National Match season.
Another feat competitors are eager to obtain is becoming a member of the President’s Hundred – reserved for the Top 100 competitors of the match. Marksmen who achieve this triumph receive commemorative medallions and certificates for their accomplishment.
Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) member SPC Joseph Hall, 28, of Box Springs, GA, led the match going into the top 20 final stage. Having recently switched from International air rifle competition to the highpower service rifle unit in March, Hall showed great skill through his transition, recording an outstanding score of 298-10x.
Though Hall was in the lead at the conclusion of the regular Course of Fire, he still needed to finish ahead of the pack in the famous President’s Rifle top 20 final stage in order to be named the overall winner.
The final stage compiles the 20 best shooters of the match in a shot-by-shot competition from 600 yards in the prone position. The Top 20 fire single shots in a time limit of 50 seconds. Once time is up, scorekeepers mark the shot on large targets behind the shooters that are visible to the crowd, making the final stage exciting for competitors and spectators alike.
After a hard fought match against brutal wind gusts, AMU member SGT Augustus Dunfey, 30, of Phenix City, AL, arose as the top marksmen in the final stage, recording an impressive score of 96-0x in the difficult conditions to earn a score of 393-14x overall.
“This match is extremely important to me,” he said. “The President’s 100 is one of the most, if not the most, prestigious match of the National Matches, so it’s an honor.”
Beginning the final stage in second place, Dunfey remained focused on his target downrange and fired away.
“I was surprised,” he said. “I dropped a point early but I was trying to not pay attention to the score. I was just trying to put one in the middle.”
Next to him along the firing line were five of his AMU teammates. Though they are encouraged to work together as a unit, they are also trained to compete against each other as individuals. The amount of talent on the team allows tough competition training on a daily basis.
“We train hours and hours every day against each other, but (coach) SGT Praslik always tells us to just come out to the firing line, and our biggest competition is our teammates,” explained Dunfey. “Every day we come out here and we try to shoot against ourselves. If we can beat each other, then we can win a match. That’s what I tried to do.”
Nash Neubauer, 20, of Amston, CT, was the High Junior of the match, coming in sixth place overall. His first time firing the President’s Rifle Match, he earned his spot as a member of the esteemed President’s Hundred.
“It’s an honor to be up there with all of the people I’ve looked up to. It’s an amazing feeling,” he said. “I was happy to be able to accomplish what I set out to do.”
His coach, Bradford Palmer, stood behind Neubauer as he watched his young marksman fire alongside some of the best riflemen in the country. As any mentor would react, Palmer was beaming from ear to ear at his junior’s accomplishment.
“It felt wonderful to see him up on the line. I’m very proud of him,” Palmer said. “We’ve been working hard, and it paid off.”
High Senior of the event was Richard Zolnowsky, 62, of Wagner, SD, with a score of 376-14x, including the final stage. Zolnowsky was the only senior to fire in the final stage. High Woman was MSgt. Julia Carlson, 38, of Provo, UT, with a score of 381-11x. Carlson finished in ninth place overall in the final.
Coming in second place in the match behind Dunfey was SSG Brandon Green, 29, of Box Springs, GA, with a score of 388-15x, followed by Hall, who finished with an overall score of 386-14x.