Elsenboss Moves ‘Forward’ During Record-Setting Performances at 2021 National Team Events
August 25, 2021Civilian Marksmanship Program▸The First Shot▸Elsenboss Moves ‘Forward’ During Record-Setting Performances at 2021 National Team Events
CAMP PERRY, Ohio – Firing perfect scores as an individual in both the National Trophy and Hearst Doubles team events, Staff Sgt. Amanda Elsenboss, 32, exploded out of the gate in her National Matches debut as a member of the National Guard All Guard Marksmanship Team. The events were held as part of the 2021 National Trophy Rifle Matches, conducted by the Civilian Marksmanship Program on the grounds of Camp Perry.
“I came out here with the mindset that I was going to win,” she expressed, confidently.
Her incredible score of 500-34X in the National Trophy Team (NTT) event was more than enough to earn a national record and the Pershing Trophy as the overall individual competitor of the match. The score also earned her the Rattlesnake Trophy as the High Army competitor, along with another national record.
“I never could have imagined it,” she said. “I’m not sure it’s hit me.”
Sgt. Antonio DiConza of the U.S. Marine Corps held the previous Pershing Trophy record of 500-15X, which he set back in 2016. Once he heard of Elsenboss’s remarkable 2021 score, he personally reached out to her to offer his congratulations and was even present to hand her the new national record certificate at the National Matches awards ceremony.
Elsenboss said, “It was a lot of hard work, and I truly could not have done it without the National Guard team and everyone who has supported me through it all, because they’re the people that motivated me.”
Her name isn’t new to those within the marksmanship world. As a junior in 2006, she paired up with her Connecticut Palmer teammate at Camp Perry and helped attain a score of 966-19X to become the first all-female team to earn the National Rifle Association’s Whistler Boy rifle match win.
Elsenboss joined the Army in 2009 and upon completion of basic training was assigned to the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) Service Rifle team. She produced several honorable titles throughout her AMU career, including national champion at the 2019 Long Range rifle portion of the Camp Perry National Matches. She also held the Women’s Rifle Trophy national record from 2017 until this year.
At the end of 2019, she left the AMU and joined the All Guard Marksmanship Team. With the cancellation of last year’s National Matches, she had to hold off on arriving at Camp Perry in her new iconic maroon All Guard hat.
“Last year, Perry didn’t happen . . . Now 2021 is here, and I get to play on the Guard side,” she said with a smile.
Her 2021 Camp Perry appearance began during the CMP Highpower matches held the week before the National Trophy Rifle series. Admittedly, she had a few hiccups during the Highpower events but came back to shoot a 798 personal best score, which helped her regain her confidence.
“I realized, ‘Okay, hey – you’ve been working hard, you’ve been practicing, you’ve been training – and the Guard’s giving you these opportunities – continue forward with it,’” she said.
Once the Trophy Matches began, she was able to watch her All Guard teammate Maj. Samuel Freeman win the President’s Rifle Match. Another teammate and former President’s winner Staff Sgt. John Coggshall along with the All Guard’s Staff Sgt. Cody Shields and 1st Sgt. Glenn Worley were also on the line for the Top 20 shootoff that accompanies the match. She was happy to cheer them all on from the sidelines.
“The team is probably one of the best National Guard teams that we’ve seen in a while,” Elsenboss said. “We’ve got a bunch of good, good shooters. We’ve been training, we’ve been practicing for it.”
In the Hearst Doubles Match, she joined Coggshall on the firing line. They got caught in the wind at the 600 yard line, but it didn’t slow her down.
“I was just doing my best to try to keep the team moving forward,” she said.
Not only did she keep the team “moving forward” in the Hearst Doubles – she blew past the other competitors as she was, again, the overall individual competitor with an incredible score of 300-14X. The duo earned second overall in the match, falling short to Team CMP’s James Fox and Nick Till by X-count – 595-28X (Elsenboss/Coggshall) to 595-30X (Fox/Till).
Despite her individual successes, Elsenboss stayed humble, recognizing that her accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible without her new team’s support.
“It’s a team match for a reason,” she said. “The team was there to facilitate the best that they can for everyone.”
“I’m definitely enjoying it,” she said of being a member of the All Guard. “It’s a good change of pace seeing different competitors from a different angle.”
The change in perspective also altered her views on competing, in general – realizing that triumphs can come from anyone who’s motivated enough to put in the work.
“There’s more to it than just what team you shoot with or the equipment that you have,” she said. “It’s more so the individual that makes it happen.”
Elsenboss’s former team, the U.S. AMU, continued their own triumphs at the 2021 National Matches – claiming the overall win in the NTT event and establishing a new national record. The team of Sergeant 1stClass Brandon Green, Staff Sgt. David Bahten, Sgt. Kade Jackovich, Sgt. Jared Desrosiers, Sgt. Brandon Muske and Sgt. Lane Ichord compiled the record score of 2971-155X in the event.
Green, Bahten, Ichord and Jackovich also joined teammates Staff Sgt. Verne Conant and Staff Sgt. Jarrod Mcgaffic in the National Trophy Infantry Team (NTIT) Match to record a score of 1431 for the overall win.
Elsenboss and the All Guard team earned second in both the NTT and NTIT matches, as the Texas State Rifle Association reached third in the events as well as the High Civilian Team honors.
The duo of Dustin Carr and Amber Kingshill, a.k.a. CA Grizzlies Team Leupold, made marks, too, as they fired a new National Trophy Junior Team record score of 992-49X. The pair crushed the previous record of 979-39X, set by fellow Grizzlies back in 2016.
Kingshill not only led the team but was also the highest scoring junior individual of the match, recording 498-29X on her own.
Carr and Kingshill teamed up with other Grizzlies Zack McLain, Simone George, Andrew Van Hoven and Anton Van Hoven to add yet another national record to the junior club’s legacy. Team O’Connell, as they were called, fired a score of 1329 in the NTIT to net fifth overall and a new national record for the Magnificent Seven Junior Infantry Team Trophy.
Anton Van Hoven, McLain, Kevin George, Kingshill, Carr and Simone George (Team Hollis) combined forces to also reach a new national record as the High Junior team in the NTT, earning a score of 2940-92X and the Minuteman Trophy.
Grizzlies coach Robert Taylor talked about the talent of the experienced members on his team as well as Simone George, 16, who is a fresh face on the California Grizzlies and has shown great talent while having only been involved for about seven months.
“She’s a natural. She just picked it right up,” he said.
He admits the group of young athletes on the team come in each year looking to beat previous records on their roads to success.
“That’s their goal – for perfection,” he said. “Winning is contagious. The more you win, the more contagious it is, and the more the next generation of kids want to come in and show how they’re going to put their mark.”
“They’re amazing,” he added.
Taylor has been coaching the long line of gifted Grizzlies for 21 years but recently announced at the National Matches that 2021 will be his final leading the team.
“It’s time for new blood,” he said with a grin.
View a complete list of results of this and other 2021 Camp Perry National Rifle Matches at https://ct.thecmp.org/21nmrifleresults.
Photos of this and other National Matches rifle events can be found and downloaded for free on the CMP’s Zenfolio page at https://www.zenfolio.com/cmp1/f641171691.