USA –-(Ammoland.com)- The ninth annual Progressive-Position Pistol National Championships has drawn to a close, and the results are in. This was an exciting match with shooters from across the country putting their shooting skills on display. Kyler Swisher and Keli Manegdeg earned top honors overall.
More than 120 youth pistol competitors took to the line at two different regional sites including Fort Benning, Georgia and at USA Shooting headquarters in Colorado Springs. The PPP program, which began in 2008, creates an opportunity for youth to begin at an earlier age. There is no minimum age limit. The youngest competitor this year was seven-year-old Nathan Lim (La Puente, California). PPP is designed to ‘progressively’ develop junior pistol athletes through the three categories as defined by the shooting position used by the competitor. They include basic supported; standing supported and international (one-handed) standing. PPP gives the junior athlete the opportunity to focus on and learn the foundational pistol skills with the opportunity to participate in competitions. This develops confidence, skills and knowledge at an early age.
Swisher (Jonestown, Pennsylvania) was given the title of Men’s National International Standing Champion. Swisher had a strong two-day match score of 749, which topped the next competitor, Branden Choi (La Puenta, California), by eight points. Benjamin Waalkes (Valley Center, Kansas City) took third with a score of 735. In the Women’s National International Standing division, Manegdeg (Colorado Springs, Colorado) reclaimed the champion’s title she earned in 2015 with a stunning 23-point victory over second-place finisher Taylor Martin (Prosperity, South Carolina). Jennifer Hardison (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) was the third-place finisher with 704 as her final score.
With Manegdeg’s win, she was able to reinstate her status on the Junior Olympic Squad. Swisher, Choi, and Martin will all be added as new Squad members. The Junior Olympic Squad is one of the first steps toward becoming a member of USA Shooting’s National Team and, ultimately, an Olympian. USA Shooting has received many talented shooters from this program and encourages young shooters to seek it out.
Christian Bankovic (Hammond, Louisiana) won the Basic Supported division, Abbie Leverett (Bainbridge, Georgia) took home first place for Standing Supported. Hunter Battig (Colorado Springs, Colorado) also earned the title for Sub Junior International Standing.
The One Shot Wonders team featuring Zack Hondnett, Miles McDonald and Blake Becton had more than just one good shot in this match. They placed first for the international standing team category, followed by PA State Team (Kyler Swisher, Jennifer Hardison, and Maggie Shifflett) only two points behind. The third-place team of NTC Black (Keli Manegdeg, Hunter Battig, and Bryston McPherson) kept the competition tight only following second by three points. Team Bridge (Tariq Isterabadi, Brayden Choi, and Sky Lim) won the Supported Position division, and NTC Orange (Jeth Fogg, Zachary Guest, and Rebecca Platt) won Mixed Position.
Following the events Friday and Saturday was the NRA Open Air Pistol Championship located in Fort Benning, Georgia and Colorado Springs, Colorado. This match was one of the first of its kind, and was scheduled to follow the PPP match to provide the shooters that were already at those ranges an opportunity to shoot a third day against a higher level and more diverse competition. Two of those higher level shooters that attended this competition were Teresa Meyers-Chambers (Colorado Springs, Colorado), a former member of USA Shooting’s National Team, and Charles Platt (Colorado Springs, Colorado), a current member of USA Shooting’s National Junior Team. The format of this match was set to NRA rules. Everyone, male and female, shot 60 record shots and unlimited sighters. There was no finals match. Jack Seifert (Westford, Massachusetts) took home the overall win shooting a 557. Waalkes and Platt took second and third both shooting a 556. Tie-breaking rules for NRA use the previous series to break ties. Waalkes and Platt tied with a 93 on their last series, so their second to last series decided the results with Waalkes shooting a 93 and Platt shooting a 91.
In the team category, the Fire Breathing Donkeys (Zachary Miller, Katelyn Abeln, and Cheyenne Vaughan) took the first-place title with an eight-point advantage. The rest of the podiums were filled with Colorado Springs locals with NTC Boys (Charles Platt, Hunter Battig, and Bryston McPherson) taking second and NTC Girls (Keli Manegdeg, Carson Saabye, and Rebecca Platt) in third. This match is tentatively scheduled to follow PPP Nationals again next year and is a great opportunity to test your skills before USA Shooting’s Winter Air Gun Championships, so be sure to mark it on your calendars.