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February 11th, 2014

U.S. Biathlete Nominated for Inspiration Award

For giving up her spot on the U.S. Olympic Biathlon Team so that her identical twin sister could compete in Sochi, Tracy Barnes is a candidate for an Inspiration Award being sponsored by O.C. Tanner, the company that makes and donates rings to all U.S. athletes competing at the Winter Games. Thanks to Tracy’s personal sacrifice, her sister Lanny Barnes, who missed qualifying races due to illness, now has a chance to capture the first-ever U.S. medal in biathlon. If you think Tracy deserves recognition, you can add your vote for Tracy for the Inspiration Award. Read more about the Barnes sisters.

Tracy Barnes and Lanny Barnes Olympics Colorado

“Lanny Barnes [is] in an unfamiliar role for a U.S. biathlete — under a spotlight. The reason for that, as people around the world are now aware, is because Tracy declined her spot on the team so Lanny could go. In the days after the story broke Jan. 13, the 31-year-old twins suddenly found themselves talking live on NBC’s Today show and CNN’s ‘New Day’. They’ve done interviews for ESPN, NBC Sports and numerous other TV stations, online media, magazines and newspapers. Requests have come from all over[.] Suddenly a sport that suffers from obscurity in the U.S. has a star.” — Read Full Story in Durango Herald.

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February 11th, 2014

Berger Southwest Nationals — Match Results and More

Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

The 6-day-long Berger Southwest Nationals has drawn to a close. And what a week it was. National records were set, $60,000 worth of prizes were distributed, a talented newcomer took the F-TR title, the Arizona sun was warm, and fun was had by all. Congratulations to the individual Grand Aggregate winners: Larry Bartholome (F-Open, 1238-61X), Bryan Litz (Sling/TR, 1239-64X), and Radoslaw Czupryna (F-TR, 1216-37X). Topping the team competition were: Team Grizzly (F-Open), Team Michigan (F-TR), and USA-National-Tompkins (Sling/TR).

Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

Here are some “Take-Aways” from the 2014 Berger Southwest Nationals.

  • Heavy .30-caliber bullets (200-215 grains) have become the “hot ticket” in F-TR.
  • In F-Open, the 7mm caliber is still King of the Hill (it hasn’t been overtaken by the 30s quite yet). At least in the relatively calm conditions this week, and in the capable hands of Larry Bartholome, a 7mm cartridge still came out on top. The 7mms deliver competitive ballistics, great accuracy, and less recoil than the big 30s.
  • F-Open front rests are so good now that folks are looking to rear bag set-ups for improvements in tracking/stability. Any old rear bag won’t cut it anymore.
  • In Sling/TR class, the 155s can still do the job. The London Scottish team finished second overall shooting 155s in their .308s. (Members: Michael Barlow, Angus McLeod, Lindsay Peden, Ian Shaw).
  • Eric Stecker is more than a “master bulletsmith”. The man can flat-out shoot. Eric finished second overall (1213-51X) in the F-TR Grand Agg, ahead of past National Champions. But as for the cash/bullets prizes, Mid Tompkins joked: “Eric can now pay himself with his own money and wait in line for bullets like everyone else.”
  • Many top shooters in F-Open and F-TR are cleaning their barrels less — a LOT less, shooting long strings between cleanings, and then doing very little brushing, letting Wipe-Out and solvents do most of the work.
  • We saw HBN-coated bullets, but there were very few moly-coated bullets in the ammo caddies on the firing line. Are black bullets a thing of the past?
  • Men dominate sling shooting by weight of numbers. But there are some incredibly talented ladies in this discipline. Ladies such as Trudie Fay, Nancy Tompkins, and Anette Wachter are world-class competitors who set a great example for young female shooters starting out.
  • If there is a better-run mid-winter long-range match, at a better location, with a bigger prize table, it must be in another galaxy far, far away.

Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

Top Shooters

Sling/TR Top Five F-Class T/R Top Five F-Open Top Five
Bryan Litz, 1239-64X
Trudie Fay, 1235-65X
Nancy Tompkins, 1232-68X
Tom Whittaker, 1232-51X
Alan Thomas, 1231-60X
Radoslaw Czupryna, 1216-37X
Eric Stecker, 1213-51X
James Crofts, 1212-48X
Kevin Scott Harris, 1211-32X
Alton Britt, 1211-29X
Larry Bartholome, 1238-61X
Freddy Haltom, 1238-54X
David Gosnell, 1237-66X
Kenny Adams, 1235-69X
Robert Bock, 1230-48X

Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

Top Teams

1. Michigan F-TR TEAM, 2532-78X
2. USA F-TR Dev Team, 2525-93X
2. True North, 2514-97X

1. Team Grizzly, 2574-135X
2. Team Berger, 2573-127X
3. Long Shot, 2566-125X

1. USA Nat’l-Tompkins, 2580-132X
2. London Scottish, 2566-128X
3. Competition Machine, 2557-112X

Winning Sling/TR USA National Team
Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

Get Complete Match Results

Here are the Grand Aggregate Scores, for all matches and all divisions, in MS DOC format. For a Complete listing of ALL scores for ALL matches, click the link for full results. This is a zip file with 18 MS Word documents, six for each discipline.

CLICK HERE for SLING Results | CLICK HERE for F-TR Results | CLICK HERE for F-OPEN Results


Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

Newcomer Scores Big F-TR Victory
If there was a crowd favorite among the big winners, it was Radoslaw (“Radek”) Czupryna, the overall F-TR winner. Competing as an “Expert”, Radek outshot all the Masters and High Masters to win the F-TR Title convincingly. We’re told Radek also set a new SWN High Score for F-TR in the process. The sky’s the limit for this talented young man. He has only been competing seriously for three years or so. Originally from Poland, he now lives in Chicago. New talents like Radoslaw represent the future of the sport. Watch out for this guy at the 2014 Nationals. While Radek is built like an NFL linebacker, there’s a soft spot inside that tough exterior. Radek dedicated his victory to his daughters: “When I travel to matches, I can’t be with my daughters. So I want them to know, this win is for them.”

Berger Southwest Nationals SWN

Radek shoots a .308 Win rifle built by John Pierce using a Pierce Titanium Action. Radek loads Varget powder behind 215-grain Berger bullets jumped .015″. I asked Radek if Ben Avery offered any “cruel surprises” this week. He nodded, saying: “Yes, a few times I got some vertical out of nowhere, but I think everybody had the same problem.”

Patience was a virtue at Ben Avery this week, according to Radoslaw: “Conditions looked stable, but that [could be] deceptive. Conditions were changing out of nowhere. So the key, I think, was being patient, and just waiting for the right conditions to come back.”

He offered this advice for other relatively inexperienced shooters: “Don’t be scared to compete. Just come out and do your best. Don’t be nervous, don’t be shy. It’s there… just go and get it.”

Berger Southewest Nationals Phoenix SWN

Over the next few days, we’ll post additional highlight reports from the Berger SWN featuring competitor and team profiles, video clips, and plenty of photos. Our media team shot over 2000 still images during the week-long match. Credit Steve Fiorenzo for most of the photos in today’s article.

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