Beard Tops Inaugural Smallbore Event At 2023 Dixie Double

1st Lt. Sarah Beard won the first-ever Smallbore Rifle match at the CMP’s annual Dixie Double competition in Alabama.

posted on November 27, 2023
2023 Dixiedouble 1
1st Lt. Sarah Beard of Danville, Ind., topped the smallbore rifle leaderboard at the 2023 CMP Dixie Double held in Alabama, Nov. 3-5.

Over the weekend of November 3-5, the CMP conducted its annual Dixie Double—an indoor air gun competition for adult and junior athletes held at the Judith Legerski CMP Competition Center in Alabama.

This year, a new 3x20 smallbore rifle event was added to the 2023 Dixie Double schedule that was met with solid participation.

A total of 60 athletes competed in the inaugural smallbore match, which was fired on the CMP’s line of outdoor electronic targets assembled at the Talladega Marksmanship Park—located just down the road from the Judith Legerski CMP Competition Center.

Open rifle competitors
Sgt. Sagen Maddalena (center) led the Open air rifle competition. 1st Lt. Sarah Beard (left) took second place and Senior Airman Peter Fiori finished in third place.


Earning the win over the field of adult and junior athletes was 1st Lt. Sarah Beard, 32, of Danville, Ind. Beard finished just above the second place athlete, Sgt. Sagen Maddalena, 30, of Groveland, Calif., who bested Spc. Ivan Roe, 27, of Manhattan, Mont., who took third. Additionally, the top junior of the match was Tyler Wee, 16, of Wake Forest, N.C.

The Dixie Double attracts competitors with a wide variety of experience levels, from individuals just beginning in the sport, to Olympians and everything in between. The Dixie Double also welcomes para-athlete participation.

The match schedule features two days of 60-shot international air rifle and air pistol competitions for Open and Junior categories, with qualification scores and finals fired each day. Overall competitors are awarded at the conclusion of day one and day two as well as from the two-day aggregate scores—earning $400 (first), $300 (second) and $200 (third) in the Open event for their performances.

Smallbore rifle
For the first time, the Dixie Double included a 3x20 Smallbore match.


This year, more than 120 athletes from around the country made the trip to Alabama for the event.

“We had a great turnout for our first smallbore match at the Dixie Double,” Brad Donoho, CMP smallbore manager said. “We had numerous world-class athletes participate, like international record holder Sgt. Maddalena and other members of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, along with several juniors. Everyone seemed pleased with the way the match was conducted, and we’re excited to host many more smallbore events at Talladega in the future.”

In air rifle, Sgt. Maddalena led the two-day Open category aggregate with an overall score of 1265.2. Following in second place was 1st Lt. Beard with a score of 1261.0, while Senior Airman Peter Fiori, 23, of Lebanon, N.J., trailed just behind 1st Lt. Beard with a score of 1260.4 to finish in third place.

In the Junior rifle event, Mackenzie Kring, 16, of Peyton, Colo., gave a commanding performance to accumulate an overall score of 1260.8—more than 10 points over second place competitor Tyler Wee, who scored 1249.7. Maddy Moyer, 18, of Dawsonville, Ga., fired a score of 1245.8 for third.

Junior air rifle top three
In the Junior rifle event, Mackenzie Kring (center) took first place by 10 points over the runner-up, Tyler Wee (left), who scored 1249.7. Maddy Moyer (right) fired a score of 1245.8 for third place.


Air pistol saw Suman Sanghera overtaking both the Open and Junior classes. The 18-year old from Great Falls, Va., claimed the Junior portion by more than 20 points with a score of 1156-25X, and the Open by just two points with a score of 1155-25X.

Taking second place in the Open category was Sgt. Jason Gregoire, 35, of Midland, Ga., as Richard Gray, 52, of Lorton, Va., landed in third place. Reese Metzler, 19, of Elizabeth, Colo., earned second behind Sanghera in the Junior match, with Ankita Deokule, 16, of Lutz, Fla., finishing third.

Coinciding with the Open and Junior competitions is the two-person team match that combines the scores of an adult and youth athlete in both air rifle and air pistol. Team Shake N Bake (Mackenzie Kring and Lucas Kozeniesky) led the air rifle team competition, as the X Men (Blaine Simpson and Lake Yoke) led air pistol.

Suman Sanghera with air pistol
Suman Sanghera was the top overall competitor in the Open and Junior air pistol events.


Returning to the Dixie Double in 2023 was the Target Sprint, which welcomes individuals ages 10 and up. During the event, participants run along a marked path, occasionally stopping to fire air rifles at five 10-meter falling targets. All targets must be knocked over before participants repeat the route. The first to cross the finish line is declared the winner.

Leading the 2023 Target Sprint in the Open category was Chance Cover, 32, of Colorado Springs, Colo., with a time of 5:18. Following in second was Hank Gray, 44, of Phenix City, Ala., with a time of 6:42, while 1st Lt. Beard earned a time of 7:18 for third. Finding first place in the Junior sprint was Clay Sell, 18, of Winner, S.D., with a time of 6:37, as Reese Metzler trailed by only a few seconds with a time of 6:39 for second place. In addition, Casia Steinhaus, 17, of Devils Lake, N.D., was in third place with a time of 7:30.

View the full results of the 2023 CMP Dixie Double match here.


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