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The International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Alberta held its final two qualifying matches this past weekend, for the 2012 Provincials, which get underway later this month on June 30th.

The matches were hosted by the Spruce Grove Gun Club, which is located in the North East quarter of the city, and took place on June 16th and 17th.

Prior to the match on Saturday morning, however, most shooters were already aware of the tragic shooting that took place in Edmonton a day earlier, where three security guards were killed and one was critically wounded. Sadly, fellow IPSC shooter and Wild West Range Officer, Eddie Rejano, was one of the men who lost his life.

“Eddie never had anything bad to say; was willing to put in whatever hard work it took,” Travis La Fayette said about Rejano. “He was always laughing and joking to keep the mood up.”

“He loved to shoot and was an avid supporter of the shooting sports and would have done whatever he could to help someone in need,” Travis added about Eddie, who was also a husband and father of two. “Once he even stayed over an hour after work to help a co-worker whose car would not start.”

Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends; he will be missed by all who knew him.

A trust fund has been set up at the Wild West Shooting Range in Edmonton to help raise funds for the Rejano family.

The June 16th, Saturday event featured a very tough and entertaining match, with a lot of running, some really long shots on reduced paper targets, and a Cooper Tunnel where you incurred penalties if you knocked any lath off the low top.

“I wanted to achieve a few objectives when designing the stages for the Spruce Grove Qualifiers,” said Joey Tolentino, who was the director for the matches. “I wanted them to be challenging; I wanted to stress the awareness of safety while handling a firearm; and, I wanted to use the weekend’s qualifiers as preparation for our upcoming Provincial and National Championships. Based on the feedback I had received, I believe all objectives were met.”

“My favourite part of all the stages were the Classic Mini targets that were placed at 30 metres,” Joey furthered. “It was a very proud moment for me: to see patching tape in the A Zones of those targets. There were a few comments around how unreasonable the targets were, but I had all the confidence in the shooters. I knew they could do it!”

 

One of Alberta’s top juniors at just eleven years old, Rojin Altares

One shooter the IPSC Alberta community can expect to hear a lot from is Rojin Altares. At just 11 years old, she took second place for ladies in the Open division on Saturday and third place on Sunday.

“I started shooting when I was 7 years old (non competition) and I started shooting competition when I was 10 years old,” Rojin recalled. “The best thing I like about shooting competition is that I get to meet new people; being able to compete with different age groups. The part I love the most is when I win, but not always at the top…. Though I always try to do my best!”

“Also being able to shoot competition is a blessing to me,” the promising shooter added. “My favourite part of this weekend’s match was when I won second place and when I was able to shoot with my Mom and Dad! I would love to say that I thank my Dad for being my coach and for helping me through the good and bad; for training me to be the shooter I am today! Thank-you Dad!”

This young lady will be an inspiration to junior shooters everywhere.

Other winners on Saturday were Ken Kupsch in Open, Ivan Runions in Classic, Tim Dowse in Production and John Dzurka in Standard.

If you’re not familiar with the various hand gun divisions the ISPC oversees here is a quick breakdown.

In the Standard division, competitors must use a firearm that is not equipped with a scope or compensator; as if it was just “out of the box.” The Production division utilizes the same rules as Standard; however, the gun must be double action only for the first shot. As the name denotes, the Open division allows for any kind of gun, with any type of scope or comp, while the Classic division is single stack and has a more varied list of what kind of firearms are allowed. You can learn more about each respective division atwww.ipsc.org or www.ipcsalberta.com.

Due to range hours, Sunday’s match had smaller stages and less people competing. For the Open shooters, the match score totals were within a few points going into the last stage. Travis LaFayette, Dallas Turner and Ken Kupsch knew whoever won the stage would likely win the match. The only other horse in the race was Romel Altares (Rojin’s father) who was shooting on another squad.

Dallas shot first and had a good run at 21.87, but not the kind of run he probably would have liked. Sometimes it’s an advantage to go first and other times it can work against you. In this case, after seeing Dallas shoot, Ken and Travis believed the winner of the competition would come down to them.

“I was disappointed he wasn’t going to be the fight for first,” Ken noted about Dallas, who was one of the weekend’s strongest performers.

Ken went next, shooting it in 19.05 seconds, but he ran right by a target and racked up 40 penalty points for the infraction.

“Holy crap, I can’t believe he just threw the stage,” Travis noted, when asked to recall his thoughts upon realizing Ken had made the costly error. “I was disappointed he wasn’t going to be in the fight for first.”

This left the door open for Travis and he shot a 21.50 to take the overall win, by just edging out Dallas and Romel.

Here are the top 4 Open division’s final scores; exceptionally close finish for the top three.

576.5349 62 La Fayette, Travis

576.1247 71 Altares, Romel

575.3741 86 Turner, Dallas

557.1400 51 Kupsch, Ken

Ivan Runions won Classic at both matches

Other winners on Sunday, July 17th were Ivan Runions in Classic, Scott Penner in Standard and Ryan Cady in Production.

“I had many memorable moments over the past couple of days,” Joey noted about the weekend’s matches. “From when Sam Brownfield shot “Blind Sided” in a crazy 22.90 seconds, to when Debbie Schubert had given me a hug after shooting her attempt at the 30 meter Minis–she hit them like a pro! Of course there’s my wife, Georgina, who had supported me throughout the weekend as Dave Schoenberg and I tried to coordinate the match. I have so many people to thank because without their help, this weekend couldn’t have possibly come together.”

“It’s the community we build around our sport which is the most important to me,” the match director added. “The community we have built within IPSC Alberta is driven by inherent trust, because we are using firearms and cooperation and collaboration, because not one individual can build the stages, track statistics and present awards…we work together.”

The next shoot is the Wild Rose Steel Challenge, Sunday June 24th, at the Spruce Grove Gun Club.

We hope to see you all there.

The aforementioned 2012 Provincial Championships will take place June 30th through July 1st at Sibbald Flats near Calgary.

The event will be hosted by The Buffalo Target Shooters Association and the APRA Homestead Range. As of this last match, there were still a few spots available for anyone who has not yet registered.