In the classic movie Casablanca, Inspector Renault’s catchphrase when solving crimes was, “Round up the usual suspects!” The 2019 Rhode Island NRA Conventional Prone Regional followed the New Hampshire Conventional Prone Regional by three weeks and, just as Inspector Renault ordered—the usual New England suspects reappeared to contest for the gold.
It was pretty much déjà vu all over again. In New Hampshire, Joe Graf got off to a hot start in the 50-yard match with a 400-35X as Shawn Carpenter trailed by six Xs. This time, Carpenter opened with 400-35X to win the iron sight 50-yard match. This left second place Hap Rocketto in the dust at 27Xs.
Carpenter took the Meter Match, as he did in the Granite State, but this time with a with a 400-33X and the match lead. Meanwhile, Graf posted a second place 400-29X.
Scopes went on the rifles for the Dewar and Carpenter continued to roll with 400-36X. Graf continued to climb out the hole he had dug for himself in the 50-yard match and posted a 400-31X.
Going into 100 yards two interesting situations were developing. Carpenter was looking down the throat of a 1600. Graf and Rocketto were vying for the Rhode Island State Championship (the match is piggybacked on the Regional and open only to Ocean State residents). Both shooters were down three points with Rocketto holding a slim one-X lead.
To say the next 40 shots for this trio were high leverage would be like calling the Hope Diamond a nice chunk of carbon. After the first 20 shots, all three were clean—Carpenter and Graff with 14X and Rocketto with 20X. Graf made a valiant run, shooting 17Xs on his last card, while Rocketto notched 15Xs and Carpenter 14X. Carpenter’s stranglehold on wins was snapped by Rocketto’s 35X clean, but he had remained perfect.
In the end Carpenter, with 1600-132X, had his 1600 and a second gold regional medallion in as many tries. Carpenter’s 132X score is just four Xs shy of the National Record for the One-Day Conventional Regional. This record is currently held by Graf. Rocketto, with 1597-121X performed just like the first Master in New Hampshire should, taking the silver medal and the Rhode Island State Championship. Graf, with 1597-116X, took home the bronze.
Additionally, Jeffery Doerschler was first Master. Mike Jerome topped the Expert class, while Clara Lowe led the combined Marksman/Master Unclassified class.
The match was well run by Range Officer Lynn Gurchik, while Nicole Panko supervised scoring and statistical duties. See more: