Written by Maxie Brantley, Senior Director of Open Matches at ISSO
Shooters from the four corners of the United States and Canada came together to compete for the Oregon International Senior Shooting Open (ISSO) title in October. 13-15, 2023, hosted by RD and Debby Reynolds at the Fort Worth Trap and Skeet Club, in Fort Worth, Texas. Not even a complete solar eclipse dampened the brilliance of the competition! The ceremony was attended by two former Olympians and an ever-growing group of Canadian shooters. Over three dozen shooters competed for over $2,000 in prizes and cash. Daily lunches on the field and a Mexican dinner buffet at the popular Stock Yards on Saturday night were a hit with the competitors and their wives, whose attendance continued to grow. Fourteen wives. This year they attended to enjoy the views, shop local and cheer on their husbands in the finals.
Established in 2007, the ISSO “Senior Open” is an annual USA Shooting event designed specifically for senior trap shooters (age 50+) to replicate the World Cup experience. Decades of old comrades are rekindled while new friendships are made. This year marks the Senior Open The archers compete in a two-person blind draw team match on Friday. It was then modeled on the clay trap format of the International Shooting Federation’s World Cup, shooting 75 targets on Saturday and 50 targets on Sunday with three separate finals to compete for titles. The European Class System ranks archers based on their performance in Saturday’s score, which is especially important since non-USA archery members from other countries participate in the event, who do not hold a USAS classification.
Tough wind conditions prevailed throughout all three days, proving that the Fort Worth dugout was a level playing field, giving a bit of a home-field advantage to the Texas pitchers. White Flyer provided complementary flash targets for Orange Crusher which were used in the final three.
In Friday’s team match, David Center, St. Helens, Oregon, and Robert Pankiewicz, New Brunswick, Canada, had the team high score of 119/150 while George Leary, Alberta, Canada, and John Stoner, St. Louis, Missouri, had 2Second abbreviation With 116/150, Youssef El-Mashriqi, Ocoee FL and Maxie Brantley, New Braunfels, TX were 3.almost With 115/150.
Former Olympian, two-time Open champion and USA Rifle Coach Jay Waldron, Gales Creek, Oregon, jumped into the lead Saturday with a score of 66/75. Scott Miller, Las Vegas, Nevada, followed by 63/75; Former Olympians George Leary, Alberta, Canada, Paul Mullen, Laurel, MD, and George Foreman, Los Angeles, CA followed closely with 62/75, and Robert Pankiewicz, New Brunswick, Canada trailed behind with 61/75 on day one.
Day two saw Mullen and Pankiewicz leading with scores of 105/125, with Miller, Leary and Waldron following closely behind. Foreman faded as Primo Skapin, Quebec, Canada, rose, paving the way for a top-six final.
With wind speeds increasing to nearly 20 mph, the full ISSF 50 final saw Waldron, Miller and Leary retire in turn in difficult conditions. Pankiewicz took the bronze 23/50 while Mullen and Skabin continued the fight. When the dust settled on the flash goal, Mullen was victorious with the gold medal 39/50 to Skabin’s 35/50 for the silver.
The Class B and C champions were determined using a modified 25 flash goal final with Cary Skaggs, Bushland, TX, and Steve Loschen, Wilcox, NE respectively. The upper middle level was Primo Scapen; The veteran was Paul Mullen. High Woman was Cassandra Kubis, Aledo, Texas, and Visitor High was Robert Pankiewicz, Canada. Congratulations to all!
The ISSO staff would like to once again thank the Fort Worth Trap and Skeet Club and all attendees for another great event and we look forward to getting better next year! The location and dates for Senior Open XVII are still being determined. 2024 dates will be announced when available and listed on the USAS website.
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