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November 3rd, 2008

14th, 14th and 85th.

NSCA National Sporting Clays Competition in San Antonio, Texas.
October 27 – November 3, 2008.

My second year going to Nationals, same goal, top ten in one event in my class, just one. Seems simple right? It is not, it is one of the farthest things from simple I have ever tried. Over 1400 shooters from all over America and beyond converged to battle it out over a 75 target green, yellow, red and orange course for 300 targets in 4 days, plus side events. I shot this MAIN event, the Krieghoff Cup and 5 Stand. Last year I fell short and walked away almost crying with an 11th in the K-Cup in C Class. This year, I am in B Class, a step up making my goals even harder. I saw many other B Class shooters this time around. College students on teams with real coaches and sponsors, guys that work in the shotgun business and range owners. Here I was a jackass that lives in Times Square and only gets practice twice a month in a good month, showing up to battle it out with the lofty goal of top ten in B Class…. classic.

When all the dust, drama, roller coaster rides of performances and grudge match shootouts were over, I was:

14th of 162 in the MAIN, prizes to 15th
I get an award and 1 punch (1 point towards A Class)

14th of 117 in the 5 Stand, prizes to 10th
No award, but 1 punch (1 point towards A Class)
8th-14th had the same score of 83/100, all ties receive same punch as 8th place.

85th of 163 in the Krieghoff Cup, prizes to 10th
No excuses and no comment.

All above results are in B Class.

When competing, shooters are randomly put on a squad of 5, unless you know 5 people and go together. Being just me, I was shuffled into the mix. I have to say, I got an AWESOME squad. They loved shooting and kept me from totally losing my mind when I did poorly and cheered when I did well. I would not have had the scores or fun I had if it had not been for meeting and shooting with them. So BIG thanks to Carlo, Jacqueline, Theresa and Dan. That’s Carlo FIOCCHI by the way in the red vest, just like the sign we are standing with. I was the only non FIOCCHI family or employee on the squad. Carlo hooked me up with a hat, stickers and patches. I even won 2 boxes of ammo in their raffle. I am now an even bigger fan of FIOCCHI then ever before…

Still shocked, amazed and stoked I got 14th in the MAIN. Already dreaming up belt buckle designs to order for myself in celebration, to me, it’s that big a deal.

Before each event, I would arrive early and relax in the parking area waiting my turn to start. Here are two views from two different days in one minute of what it sounds like from the parking areas when the Green, Yellow, Red, Orange, 2 different FITASC, 2 different 5 Stand, sub-gauge and multiple practice courses are all under way.