The long walk in the dark: Competitors begin preparing before dawn for the President's 100. A storm the night before dumped an inch of rain and produced winds up to 60 miles per hour, and clouds in the early morning appeared to promise much of the same. Thankfully, weather conditions improved, and competitors were treated to a clear, sunny day.
The President's Rifle Match was inaugurated in 1894 to determine the "individual military rifle championship of the United States," and when the National Matches were established by an act of Congress in 1903, the Match became an integral part of the National Matches. Beginning in 1919, all shooters who placed in the top 100 competitors were designated as the "President's 100," making the awarding of the President's 100 gold tab one of the most distinguished and prestigious honors a shooter can ever attain.
The weather at Camp Perry threatened to make the 2002 President's 100 Rifle competition a severe test of shooting skills as the night before the event a severe thunder storm whipped through the area. According to the Port Clinton News Herald, the storm clocked winds of 60 miles per hour, and knocked down trees and power lines.
Last year's champion and National Match record holder, SSgt. Scott Threatt, USMC, scored an an impressive 293 with 12X in the 2002 event. In this year's competition, it was only good for 13th place.
Two shooters came close to Threatt's 2001 record with final scores of 298. The winner, SFC Kevin McMahon of Columbus, Georgia, shot a 298 with 15X, edging out teammate SFC Grant Singley, who scored 298 with 13X.
The Results Bulletin showing the final scores of all 1,311competitors can be found at www.odcmp.com/Services/National_Matches.
SFC Kevin McMahon of Columbus, Georgia wins 2002 President's Award with a score of 298-15X
2001 winner Scott Threatt of the USMC Rifle Team holds the National Match record in the President's 100 Rifle with a 299-19X.