Miller wins Rifleman’s Challenge

Some of the Rifleman's Challenge competitors pause for a photo at Pine Tree Rifle Club in Johnstown. Pictured, from left, are Lance Hicks, Ken Benton (fifth place), Dr. Richard Maretzo (IBS world record holder), Harold Miller (champion), Blaine McRay (second place), and John DelSavio (third place). Missing from the photo is Mark Duesler (fourth place). (Photo contributed by Harold Miller)

JOHNSTOWN – A total of 17 shooters descended upon the Pine Tree Rifle Club’s rifle range June 10 to participate in the Rifleman’s Challenge.

The Rifleman’s Challenge event was first hosted at the PTRC in 2002 under the direction of John DelSavio and it was very well attended.

The Rifleman’s Challenge took a short hiatus, however, but was revived this year under the leadership of new range director, Ken Benton. Benton noted that the PTRC is celebrating it’s 80th anniversary and that 2017 was the perfect opportunity to rekindle the spirit of centerfire fun and competition.

Five relays were contested providing 15 minutes for each shooter to send 10 rounds of ammunition downrange at 200 yards. Shooters were required to knock down one metal plate and two bowling pins before sending the rest of their rounds into the new 200-yard Pine Tree Phil (woodchuck) paper target.

The Pine Tree Phil paper target has been under development and was finally introduced at this year’s Rifleman’s Challenge with great success. Benton noted that the Course of Fire for an Rifleman’s Challenge can vary from place to place and from year to year.

Special thanks to the target crew and range staff who helped make the Rifleman’s Challenge happen including; Zale Benton, Mark Duesler, Wayne VanDetta, Tim Ryczek, Garry Sprung, Bill Meyers, Harold Miller and John DelSavio. These individuals made the difference in making this a safe, fun, and enjoyable competitive experience.

The top-five place finishers were awarded trophies based on highest score. The highest possible score would be 105 points.

Harold Miller earned a score of 95 points to capture first place, followed by Blaine McRay who also scored 95 points to take second place. Tiebreaker criteria was used to establish the championship.

John DelSavio turned in a score of 80 points to secure third place followed by Mark Duesler with 75 points and fourth place. Ken Benton finished fifth with a score of 70 points.

Others competing included Wayne VanDetta, Tim Ryczek, Joe DeMarco, Mike Kowalski, Mitch Kowalski, Adam Mihalik, Dr. Richard Maretzo, Daryl Westhoff, Jr. Dean, Lance Hicks, Mike Rose and Tonya Duma.