By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
CAMP PERRY, Ohio – Firing a perfect score in the Oliver Hazard Perry Match and winning overall was SGT Ben Cleland, 25, of the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU), with an incredible score of 300-21x. The match was held during the annual National Trophy Rifle Matches in July.
SGT Cleland was the reigning champion of the Oliver Hazard Perry event – winning during its inaugural year in 2017 with another noteworthy score of 299-11x. During the 2018 National Rifle Matches, SGT Cleland also earned the Pershing Trophy as the highest scoring competitor of the National Trophy Team Match, with a remarkable score of 499-30x.
“Coming into the National Matches, I really wanted to win everything, but, it’s a rough crowd,” SGT Cleland teased.
He went on to say that one of his biggest goals was to outshoot teammate SFC Brandon Green, who had a remarkable showing at this year’s National Matches – becoming the first competitor to ever fire a perfect score in the coveted President’s Rifle Match and earning the Mountain Man Trophy as the overall rifle competitor of the Matches.
Outside of the friendly rivalry, Cleland commends Green for the lessons he has passed down to him, saying, “I would consider him my biggest mentor. He’s definitely the person that inspired me to be the best I could be.”
Coming in a close second behind Cleland in the Oliver Hazard Perry Match and also firing an outstanding score was David Geyer, 43, of Phoenix, AZ, who also cleaned each stage for an overall score of 300-14x. SSG Kristoffer Friend, 32, of the U.S. Army Reserve, earned the third place spot with a score of 299-12x.
The Oliver Hazard Perry Match is part of the Commemorative rifle events designed for the National Matches at Camp Perry. The competition is for service rifles, fired at 200, 300 and 600 yards.
Winning the Roosevelt Commemorative Match, another Commemorative Match, was Brian Williams, 44, of Grandy, MA – firing a score of 288-6x with a 1903 rifle. Williams was also the winner of the Four-gun Aggregate competition during the National Games events for the second consecutive year.
Following in second and third, respectively, was Douglas Armstrong, 58, of Lexington, NC, and John Monty, also of Granby, both with scores of 283-4x.
High Junior of the event was Meghann Beaver, 19, of Indianapolis, IN, with a score of 276-4x – 12th place over a field of over 180 competitors. Rich Appel, 65, of Holyoke, MA, earned the title of High Senior, as Lee McKinney, 71, of Rio Rico, AZ, took home the High Grand Senior honor.
The Roosevelt Commemorative Match is open to Springfield rifles and Krag-Jorgensen rifles – manufactured under license by the Springfield Armory between 1892 and 1903 and served as the long arm during the Spanish-American War. The match is fired from 200 yards.
For a complete list of results, visit the CMP Competition Tracker page at https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=match&task=edit&match=16353&tab=results.
Photos of the National Matches can be found on the CMP Zenfolio page for viewing and free download at https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f817385512.
ADMIN NOTE: In 2019, the CMP will replace the Oliver Hazard Perry Match with Squadded Practice.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.