Three days and four events weren't enough to slow down defending Bianchi Cup Champion Doug Koenig
Columbia, Missouri – When defending Bianchi Cup champ Doug Koenig stepped onto the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club range, all he needed was perfection. A perfect score. A perfect score would all but guarantee a fourth consecutive title. Less than perfect definitely guaranteed a loss. He went for perfection instead.
Finishing with an overall score of 1920-183x, Doug Koenig walked away from the 2013 MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup Championships with a 15th overall title. A battle through each stage, it was everything that competitors and fans could have hoped for.
The Bianchi Cup is made up of four separate events; Practical, Barricade, Falling Plates and Moving Target. 48 shots per event for a perfect overall score of 1920. There were three shoots on the final day with a chance of reaching that level of perfection; Doug Koenig, Carl Bernosky and Bruce Piatt. All three had one event left – Moving Target.
Moving Target is a four stage event shot at 10, 15, 20 and 25 yards. Competitors have six seconds to fire six shots at a target moving along a sixty foot run – two runs per stage.
Piatt was up first. A perfect points total when the day began, he dropped two points to cement a final score of 1918-176x.
Shooting a 1918 in the Bianchi Cup is a score you can eat out on for the rest of your life. But this was for the title. In the zero-sum game of top level action pistol shooting, anything less than perfection cold cost you a championship. Unless Bernosky or Koenig dropped any points, which is always possible, the title would go to one of the other two.
Bernosky was next. As a 10-time NRA National shooting champ, Bernosky knows how to handle high pressure situations. But Bernosky's titles came in the High Power Rifle category and not action pistol. Carl was in a tight spot.
Blazing through shot after shot, Bernosky put on a High Power Rifle like display and recorded the top Moving Target total for the championship, a 480-43x. The pressure now shifted to Koenig.
Not only did he have to shoot 48 for 48, but he also had to notch at least 39 Xs to win the crown. Like that was going to stop him.
Finishing with a 480-42x, Koenig achieved perfection and the requisite number of Xs to win a 15th MidwayUSA/NRA Bianchi Cup title, his fourth in a row.
“I think I need a beer,” Koenig exclaimed to the delight of the crowd.
Soon enough he was surrounded. Spectators, competitors, officials and all came to offer a hand and congratulations. Bernosky was among the first. The two have grown close over the years as Carl attempts to find a place inside Doug's world – often with Doug's help.
Perfection teaching perfection.
Makes you wonder what's in store for next year.