The Black Hawk Rifle Club conducted the 79th annual Black Hawk Open Rifle Tournament at the River Bend Gun Club in Dawsonville, GA, over the 2019 Memorial Day weekend. This yearly tradition began at the Arrow Head Rifle Range, outside of Lagrange, IL, in July 1938—a streak that was interrupted only briefly by World War II.
The 2018 Black Hawk Open winner Mark DelCotto made it clear to all that he was out to retain his title as he opened his title defense with a 50-yard iron sight score of 400-40X. Having just entered the senior category, the Roberts and Palma veteran went on to show that chronological age is just a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind the years, then they don’t matter. DelCotto took home the Recker Trophy for winning the 100-yard any sight match, the Waters Trophy emblematic of the any sight aggregate win a 1600, and the Moroney “Ole Cyclops Glass Eye” Trophy as the senior any sight champion, on his way to the Mounsey Trophy, repeating as the Black Hawk Open Champion.
The Tevis Trophy awarded to the iron sight aggregate winner went to Patrick Sunderman of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU) with a score of 3190-236X. Steve Hardin was high civilian and took home the Archer Trophy with 3190-240X. The Fleeman Trophy for the high 50-meter aggregate went to Randall Hatheway who scored 3190-226X. Junior Austin Fletcher won the Toursh Trophy with 3182-205X—an award sweetened by the addition of extra money provided in honor of the Rossmans. The Carlsen Trophy, high woman, was won by Michelle Bohren who scored 3191-224X.
F-Class competitors vied for two new trophies with Richard Bordelon winning the inaugural Joe Johnson Trophy for high score on the second day of F-Class shooting. Shane Collier, with the high grand aggregate score of 3169-206X became the first winner of the President’s Trophy as the 2019 Black Hawk Open F-Class match winner.
Several competitors took home the first issue of Black Hawk Open winner T-shirts, based on the Western Wildcat shirts for class and aggregate victories.
No match can be run without the hard work of a match staff. Black Hawk Executive Officer Paul Benneche deserves much credit for his hard work in preparing the event with David Rabin who coordinated the match set up and breakdown. Scorers were Martha Kelley, John Sparks, and Edie Fleeman with Karen Johnson and Dolores Walter as recorders. Additionally, Bruce Meredith called the line and Tommy Steadman refurbished our trophies.
Another highlight was after the traditional barbecue dinner—after which featured the presentation of the of the Joe Johnson Service Award by Karen Johnson to NRA Board Member and longtime Black Hawk Rifle Club Member Walt Walter.
The Black Hawk Rifle Club thanks the River Bend Gun Club for allowing the use of its magnificent facilities for the seventh year. We all look forward to gathering again in 2020 for the 80th Black Hawk Open.
See more: After 80 Years, Black Hawk Rifle Tournament Marches On.