Shooters gathered for a match at the Kootenai Valley Range on March 13, and four of them, all from Boundary County, achieved the unimaginable, breaking a national record they’d set twice before.
Using .22 caliber, single shot, rifles, aiming at a target fifty feet away, 14 shooters completed the course shooting in the prone, standing and kneeling positions. To score a perfect 10, the shooter had to take out a dot, about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
In 2019 the question was asked, “Could the national record be broken for the team match?” In fact, it could, and four members of the Kootenai Valley Rifle & Pistol Club would combine their efforts and beat the old record by 21 points that year.
In 2020 they bested their previous score by two points, scoring a combined 4266 out of a 4800 possible and again being recognized as the NRA’s top Smallbore Rifle Indoor 120 Shot Any-Sight Team in the senior category, in which shooters must be 60 years old or older).
This year, Bill Leach, Greg Mead, Don Jordan and Tom Daniel again teamed up and shot a combined score of 4276, besting their previous year’s efforts by 10 points.
The NRA just recognized the 2020 record, because of departmental shutdowns in their offices, and the 2021 score to be officially verified. Regardless, they once again bring national recognition to our community as some of the best competitive target shooters in the nation.
Also shooting in the match and taking top junior honors was Ellie Rutherford. Meggie Kahanek was top junior in the kneeling position and Baylor White, of the Sandpoint team, was top sub-junior, under 14 years old.
The junior team of Ellie, Meggie, Salix Harris and Paige Sartell combined their scores to enter the national team match. It will be later this year when we find out how they fared.
If you are interested in learning more about the sport of competitive shooting, stop by the range Highway 2 across the highway from Sater’s Auction any Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m.