By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
CAMP PERRY, Ohio – Notorious for its difficult and rapidly-shifting rain, wind and storms during the summer season, the weather at the Camp Perry National Guard Training Facility actually gifted competitors with some of the best weather in years during the 2018 National Trophy Pistol Matches. Nearly 800 competitors took the firing line during the days of July 14 and 15 as the prestigious national-level events welcomed some of the best shots in the country.
As in previous years, the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) proved their stellar status in the competitive shooting realm. Overtaking the National Trophy Individual (NTI) event was SSG Greg Markowski, 44, of the AMU with a score of 291-13x – just one point over fellow AMU member, SGT Christopher Hudock.
SSG Markowski went on to become the Overall Service Pistol competitor of the CMP National Pistol Matches, while Hudock, 28, topped the prestigious President’s Pistol Match.
Markowski, Hudock, along with teammates SGT Anthony Heinauer and SFC Patrick Franks, combined scores to capture the National Team Trophy event for the U.S. AMU for the twelfth year, with a score of 1120-29x.
The event was the last for SFC Patrick Franks, who is retiring from the AMU this year. He leaves behind him a memorable legacy with the team as a winner of multiple prominent National Matches events, including last year’s NTI event, and also set several National Records over his career. Good luck, SFC Franks, with your future endeavors, and thank you for your years of service.
Making a mark of her own in the NTI event was Cadet Lisa Emmert, 22, of the Army National Guard, who claimed the National Woman’s Trophy as the high female competitor of the match. Cadet Emmert was also the High Woman of the President’s Pistol event and was the recipient of the Rose Krelstein Trophy as the high female competitor of the President’s/NTI Aggregate. A proven talented competitor, Emmert currently holds the National Record score in the Junior President’s Pistol Match, which she set back in 2015.
In Excellence-in-Competition (EIC) events, winning the M9 EIC Match, which accompanies the Pistol Small Arms Firing School, was civilian Roy Leidy, 55, of Northampton, PA, who earned a score of 269-1x to overtake the match by just one point. Dillon Carr, 17, of San Diego, CA, was the High Junior of the match and finished fourth place overall.
SFC Adam Sokolowski, 39, of the AMU, led the Service Pistol EIC Match, with a score of 291-8x, as John Ennis, 42, of Honolulu, HI, snatched the .22 Rimfire Pistol EIC Match, with a score of 294-13x.
Sam Kwon, 19, of New York, NY, was the High Junior in the .22 Rimfire Pistol EIC Match and received the G.P. Perry DeFino Trophy for his win in the Junior Individual Match for the second consecutive year and for the third time over his career. He and New York Rifle & Pistol Junior teammate, Heather Powers, joined forces to earn the top spot in the Junior Team event.
Powers, 18, of West Falls, NY, outshot Kwon in the Junior President’s Pistol Match by nearly 10 points to claim the win.
“She is phenomenal. She was definitely carrying me in the NRA matches,” Kwon said with a laugh. “She’s a great teammate and we both work really well together.”
Kwon, a National Matches competitor since 2014 and often at the top of the podium at the national level, says he tries to ignore his past performances and avoids thinking about scores while on the line – focusing only on the fundamentals each time he pulls the trigger.
“In my mind, score is a reflection of technique, and I also get nervous if I check scores, so I try not to do that,” he said.
Still, Kwon admits that he can’t help but be just a little intimated by the talents of his New York teammate.
“She definitely scares me,” he joked. “We’re both shooting really well, and I’m happy that we’re both shooting really well.”
Kwon went on to be named the Overall Junior Pistol marksman by a 50-point margin.
For a complete list of results for the 2018 National Trophy Pistol Matches, visit the CMP Competition Tracker page at https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=match&task=edit&match=16352&tab=results.
A link for photos of the National Matches events, including the pistol events, can be found on the CMP Communications page at http://thecmp.org/communications/and directly on the CMP Zenfolio page at https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f817385512.