By Ashley Brugnone, CMP Writer
JERICHO, Vt. – The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) had a record-breaking attendance in Vermont for its 2018 New England Travel Games in September, with over 200 competitors taking the firing line. The event, held at the Camp Ethan Allen Training Base, accommodated 630 entries during its mix of modern/vintage military rifle and a variety of pistol matches.
During the beautiful, yet slightly cool beginning fall days of competition, Brian Williams, 44, of Granby, MA, continued his string of noteworthy rifle competition performances as he was named the Three and Four Gun Aggregate overall winner for the second consecutive year.
Williams is a proven national-level champion, having set a new Vintage Military record during the 2017 National Matches at Camp Perry that had stood since 2010 while also taking home the Four Gun Aggregate title that same year. He claimed the Four Gun honor again in 2018 and improved his score by 87 points, with an overall total of 1146-25x.
At New England Games, Williams took the top spot in both the Garand and Modern Military Matches to help reach his Three and Four Gun wins.
New this year to the New England Games schedule was the CMP Cup Matches, which included across-the-course events like the 80 Shot Aggregate and EIC Service Rifle matches, fired at the 200, 300 and 600 yard lines. A 4-Man Team Match was also fired during the Cup series of competitions.
Earning the CMP Cup Overall Service Rifle Aggregate (from two days of 80 Shot matches) was GySgt Donald McClester, 36, of the U.S. Marine Corps, with a score of 1572-56x. Robert Greene, 43, of Reading, MA, claimed the Match Rifle title in the event, with a score of 1562-54x.
Marine Gold team members Sgt Justin Crago, Sgt Christopher Williams, GySgt Donald McClester and Capt Curt Maddox tallied a combined score of 1963-67x for the overall win in the 4-Man Team event.
Also earning overall wins at the 2018 New England Games was Bill Ellis, 53, of Langley, England, who fired a new New England Games record score of 490-11x to overtake the EIC Rifle Match. Matt Scheetz, 43, of Mercersburg, PA, compiled his own record score during his Springfield Match win, firing a 290-6x – just one “x” above the previous record, set by Williams in 2017.
Derek Watt, 38, of Norwood, MA, claimed the win in the Vintage Military event, with a score of 283-4x, as Bruce Baroffio, 60, of Northfield, VT, overtook the Carbine Match, finishing only two points shy of the New England Games record.
Capt Curt Maddox, 30, of the U.S. Marine Corps, led the O-Class in the Rimfire Sporter event by only two “x” shots, with a score of 534-11x. In the T-Class, PO3 Nicholas Dracon, 26, of the Coast Guard, took home the win, while Nick Till, 44, of Team CMP, claimed the top spot and a new record score in the Tactical Class with a score of 577-9x.
Team CMP members Nick Till and Sara Rozanski fired a score of 397-15x for the win in the manual Vintage Sniper Team event. The team of Williams-Betzold (Victor Betzold and Brian Williams) claimed the semi-automatic win, with a score of 370-10x.
In pistol competition, PO1 Charlie Petrotto, 34, of the Coast Guard, swept all events – taking home seven overall titles.
Like last year, competitors at the 2018 New England Games had the opportunity to fire on CMP’s traveling electronic target system, which is designed to speed up match times through prompt, accurate scoring and the elimination of pit duty, while also accommodating a more relaxed experience with less bodily and mental wear throughout the competition day. All rifle events, including the Small Arms Firing School, were held on the target system. With extensive field testing, the traveling targets are now regular figures at Travel Games matches and other CMP events throughout the year.
For a complete list of results of the New England Travel Games, visit the CMP Competition Tracker page at https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=match&task=edit&match=16397.
Photos of the event can be found on the CMP’s Zenfolio page: https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f910016650.
SAVE THE DATE: CMP will return to Vermont in 2019! The New England Cup and Games Matches will take place Sept 16-22.
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.