ANNISTON; TALLADEGA, Ala. – Over the Nov. 3 weekend, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (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, to provide even more competitive opportunities, the CMP was thrilled to add a new 3×20 Smallbore Rifle event to the 2023 Dixie Double schedule that was met with remarkable participation.
A total of 60 athletes competed in the inaugural smallbore match, which was fired on CMP’s line of outdoor electronic targets assembled at Talladega Marksmanship Park – located just down the road from the Judith Legerski CMP Competition Center.
Earning the win over the field of adult and junior athletes was 1LT Sarah Beard, 32, of Danville, IN. Beard finished just above the second place athlete, SGT Sagen Maddalena, 30, of Groveland, CA, who bested SPC Ivan Roe, 27, of Manhattan, MT, who took third. Top junior of the match was Tyler Wee, 16, of Wake Forest, NC.
“We had a great turnout for our first smallbore match at the Dixie Double,” said Brad Donoho, CMP smallbore manager. “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.”
Each year, the Dixie Double attracts a wide array of experience levels, from individuals just beginning in the sport to Olympians and everything in between. The Dixie Double also welcomes para-athlete participation for those requiring extra assistance on the firing line.
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 1 and Day 2 as well as from the two-day aggregate scores – earning $400 (first), $300 (second) and $200 (third) in the Open event for their performances.
This year, over 120 athletes from around the country made the trip to Alabama for the event.
In air rifle, SGT Maddalena led the two-day Open category aggregate with an overall score of 1265.2. Following is second was 1LT Beard with 1261.0, while SrA Peter Fiori, 23, of Lebanon, NJ, trailed just behind Beard with a score of 1260.4 for third.
In the junior rifle event, Mackenzie Kring, 16, of Peyton, CO, gave a commanding performance to accumulate an overall score of 1260.8 – more than 10 points over second place competitor Tyler Wee, who reached a score of 1249.7. Maddy Moyer, 18, of Dawsonville, GA, fired a score of 1245.8 for third.
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.
Finding second in the Open category was SGT Jason Gregoire, 35, of Midland, GA, as Richard Gray, 52, of Lorton, VA, took third. Reese Metzler, 19, of Elizabeth, CO, earned second behind Sanghera in the Junior match, with Ankita Deokule, 16, of Lutz, FL, landing in 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.
Returning to the Dixie Double in 2023 was the fan-favorite 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, CO, with a time of 5:18. Following in second was Hank Gray, 44, of Phenix City, AL, with a time of 6:42, while 1LT Beard earned a time of 7:18 for third. Finding first place in the Junior sprint was Clay Sell, 18, of Winner, SD, with a time of 6:37, as Reese Metzler trailed by only a few seconds with a time of 6:39 for second place. Casia Steinhaus, 17, of Devils Lake, ND, arrived in third with a time of 7:30.
A complete list of results for the 2023 Dixie Double air gun and smallbore match can be found on the CMP’s Competition Tracker page at https://ct.thecmp.org/2023DDResults. Find free downloadable photos of the event at https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f640944257.
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.