Shooters win top honors at statewide competition

Posted: Friday, July 07, 2000

Two Soldotna shooters won prizes in the senior division of the Alaska Sectional Championship, a practical shooting competition held June 24 and 25 at the Snowshoe Gun Club.

Joe Waters took first place, and Rod Christopher took second. Third place went to Steve Meyer of Nikiski.

The championship is an annual event which has been held twice on the peninsula. It involves eight stages that test shooting skills with different positions and situations, said Brian Meyer, who organized the event and designed some of the courses.

Contestants run against a timer, along maze-like courses that take them through trees, around walls and through windows, shooting at pop-up and disappearing targets using a semi-automatic pistol. The courses are similar to those used in police training.

There are divisions for different age groups, abilities and gender, and a Limited and Open division. "Limited" signifies a stock gun, unmodified; "Open" is for guns that have been modified with scopes or other accessories.

Thirty-six shooters from all over the state, and a few from Outside, participated in the event this year, Christopher said.

"At my age it's very challenging," said Christopher, 56, who has participated in the event since 1990, and won in the senior division once before, in 1997.

Christopher owns Nordic Trading and Loan in Soldotna, where he also runs the Peninsula Weapons Academy. The academy offers instruction in firearms and gun safety.

Practical Shooting is a challenging sport that has grown in popularity over the past few years, said Meyer. It will be featured in the 2004 Olympics for the first time as a demonstration sport.

Other winners in the championship included the following:

Limited -- Overall winners were: first, Bill Filiga of Fairbanks; second, Mark Carr of Nikiski; and third, Glenn Miller of Fairbanks. Senior winners: Joe Waters, first; Rod Christopher, second; and Steve Meyer, third. David Pinney of Wasilla won the Super-senior category, and Maxwell Stoner of Wasilla won in the Junior category.

Open -- Overall winners were: first, Manuel Aurique of Anchorage; second, Ray Solomon of Anchorage; and third, Jake Wycoff. Senior winners: Ken Linsey of Palmer, first; James Weston of Rockport, Texas, second; and Lee Watne of Anchorage, third. Junior winners: J.W. Filiaga of Fairbanks, first; and Matt Miller of Fairbanks, second. Ladies winners: Donna Martin of Anchorage, first; and Jody Linsey of Palmer, second.

Class winners were Jake Wycoff, Ray Solomon and Jody Linsey in the Open division; and Glenn Miller, Joe Waters, Brian Pinney and Ryan McGee in the Limited division.

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