Looking back at the scores now with all three relays reported, things look a little different.
For example, after the first relay’s Slow Fire, John Zurek was in the lead with 195-5X. But Christopher Jones, firing in a different relay scored 196-8X bumping John down to the #2 spot in the 22 Slow Fire match.
In the NMC, when I first looked only one relay was reported. That tabulation has everyone now but the results are the same: Jim Henderson took first with 298-20X and Philip Hemphill with the same number of points but three fewer Xs (298-17X).
In the Timed Fire match, there were several more 199s but no additional double-cleans.
There was no substantial change in the Rapid Fire tallies once all the relays had been reported.
Of course, it’s worth noting here that we don’t know the order in which the scores are being entered and made available. It appeared that one relay at a time was being reported but it’s also possible that the scores were only made available on the web after all the results were in but the scores were being entered from the highest to the lowest.
But this doesn’t change the fact that the best Bullseye shooters in the country are competing in near perfect weather conditions. We truly are watching the “best of the best” this week.
The numbers from today’s 22 Championship are still unofficial — as of this writing, they’re not shown in green on the NRA site — but, even so, some interesting observations can still be made.
It appears that Jim Henderson has won with 890-58X and, somewhat like yesterday, he did it by a couple of points, two as compared to yesterday’s six but, nonetheless, at this end of the range of scores, and this close to the perfect 900 score, to win by more than one is astonishing. To say that Jim is “hot” is an understatement.
Brian Zins who is looking for win #10 overall came up three points short today. Getting those three points back is possible over the next two days but he’s going to have to earn them. At this level in the game, it’s much more about the mistakes you don’t make rather than the good things that you do.
And snapping at Brian’s heels is John Zurek with the same score but fewer Xs.
And both Brian and John will have to hope that Jim, Philip Hemphill and Robert Park succumb to small errors over the next two days.
And Ron Steinbrecher and Chris Jones as well as a dozen other shooters are all doing their best and giving everyone at the top end cause for concern and renewed focus on doing what they need to do to win.
And this is what competition does best: when a group of top competitors get together at the same time, they indirectly push each other to even higher levels of performance. Each one knows they cannot afford to make a mistake, that every point and every X is going to matter.
And when they shoot a 9 or, horrors, an 8, they also know that the shooter right next to them is pushing himself or herself up to that same limit and they may falter by that same loss of 1 or 2 points.
So each one shakes off any error and re-focuses on that next shot which is, as you probably know, the only one that matters.
To all the competitors at Camp Perry this year, I wish you all a very sincere,
10s and Xs, ladies and gentlemen, lots of 10s and Xs!