Between The Berms: USA vs. The World...We Won

Oct 12, 2011
"Veni, vidi. vici" is Latin for "I came, I saw, I conquered" but it's not quite appropriate for describing Team USA's dominant performance at the IPSC World Shoot XVI that concluded this past Saturday in Rhodes, Greece. However, it will have to do since there is no real Latin translation for "We came, we saw, we beat them like a redheaded stepchild AND his rented mule." The U.S. contingent won 23, or 40% of the individual medals. And with their eight team medals, the total medal count for the U.S. comes to 31. In individual competition the U.S. won eight gold medals. Switzerland was the only other nation to make multiple gold medal podium visits with three. Nine other nations each picked up a single gold medal. That's how good our shooters are. Here's the rundown on who did what at the World Shoot. Wheelgun International... The U.S. team of Matt Griffin, Jerry Miculek, Patrick Sweeney and Cliff Walsh claimed the team gold medal in the revolver division. Miculek claimed the senior gold medal while Griffin took the overall bronze. The only surprise to come out of the revolver division is that Miculek finished second, taking silver. Ecuador's Ricardo Lopez, while perhaps unknown to many Shooting Wire readers, is well respected among the U.S. wheelgunners and his gold medal performance is not surprising at all. The Mod Squad... In the last year of IPSC's Modified division, Team USA says "thanks for the memories, and the medals" as Barry Dueck, Rob Leatham, JoJoVidanes and Michael Voigt walked off with the team gold medal. Voigt took the senior silver medal with Leatham picking up the senior gold and finishing third overall to take the bronze. Girl Power In Full Production... Sarah Dunivin, Julie Golob, Kippi Leatham and Maggie Reese claimed the team silver medal in the Production division finishing behind Russia's team which was led by Maria Gushchina who won the individual gold. Golob took the individual silver with Dunivin right behind her for the bronze. Girl Power Open For Business... In the Open division, Team USA's Megan Francisco, Rebecca Jones, Athena Lee and Kay Miculek cornered the IPSC gold market winning the team event. Francisco picked up the individual silver medal while Jessie Harrison won the bronze medal. Karla Blowers of Australia won the individual gold.
First, let's win all the individual medals then the team gold medal. Sound good? Photo: Julie Golob
Girl Power Comes Standard... And how! Team USA's Women's Standard division team left absolutely no doubt, none whatsoever, about which nation claims superiority in what is the equivalent of our own Limited division. Our ladies gave the U.S. one of it's two podium sweeps at the World Shoot XVI awards ceremony after Randi Rogers (gold), Tori Nonaka (silver) and Lisa Munson (bronze) dropped the hammer on the competition. The three made a return trip to the medal podium, this time accompanied by teammate Carina Randolph, and collected the team gold medal. Army Strong-er Than You... While the ladies were busy picking up their new gold, silver and bronze jewelry, the U.S. Army took a moment to make itself known and flexed some competition muscle. The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit's PV2 Matt Sweeney took to the podium forcing the international organizers of the event to play The Star-Spangled Banner in recognition of his junior gold medal performance in the Standard division. Then PV2 Shane Coley gave them the ole 'play it again' sign as he hit the podium for his own gold medal for his junior win in the Open division.
Rob Leatham points out to USPSA President Michael Voigt all the shooters that Blake Miguez (r) beat for the third time this year. Photo: Julie Golob
Blake, It's IPSC For Gold... IPSC and Blake Miguez are now on a first name basis. After winning the Standard division title at the Infinity Euro Open in Germany and then the IPSC Greek Nationals earlier this year, Miguez showed up at World Shoot XVI to claim the Standard division title and the "Blake Miguez Memorial Gold Medal"...which he did. Miguez's performance, along with Ted Puente's bronze medal finish helped give the two, and their teammates Taran Butler and Travis Tomasie, the team gold medal in the division. Ouvert, It's French For Open... Once again, France's Eric Grauffel won the Open division World Shoot title. Grauffel is a brilliant shooter and certainly his nation's finest...France's one and only great shooter. Welcome to the ugly side of jingoism and feel free to pile on by inserting your own jokes about France here before forwarding to others. However, Team USA's J.J. Racaza and K.C. Eusebio also made a trip to the podium, taking the silver and bronze medals respectively. These two, along with their teammates Max Michel, finishing fourth, and Chris Tilley, in sixth, represent the four best Open shooters in the United States. So it's no surprise at all that Team USA won the team gold medal.
They're coming for you IPSC shooters. It's just a matter of time. Photo: Lee Neel
Hope On The Horizon... While the overall Open title eluded a Team USA shooter, hope is on the horizon. Ben Thompson, who won the junior bronze in individual competition, Nic Neel, Blake Manning and the USAMU's Coley, the USA's official junior team, absolutely crushed the competition by beating their nearest competition by 611 points. The U.S. State Department is probably still trying to figure out how these four didn't cause an international incident by dishing out such a drubbing. Unfortunately, because there were not enough official national teams entered in the event, IPSC could not award them any gold medals. But there's no need to feel bad about it because I promise you these guys are going to win their fair share of medals in the future. And with Shane Coley placing 10th overall, that time is one of those sooner-rather-than-later propositions. Vogel For The Win... And finally, the one truly singular performance from World Shoot XVI has to be that of Bob Vogel who won the overall Production division title, leading the second all-USA podium appearance with his teammates Ben Stoeger (silver) and Matt Mink (bronze). Along with Phil Strader, these four easily won the team gold medal. Why is Vogel's win so impressive? Simple. He won the USPSA Limited-10 National title on September 20, then on September 24 he won the IDPA World Championship, competing in the Stock Service Pistol division, with a top overall score that was 35 points better than his nearest competitor, and to round out his 'trifecta of awesome' he topped the field of 381 international competitors and won the IPSC World Shoot Production Title in Greece on October 8.
Production perfection. Photo: Marlene Coley
Let me make this real clear, it's hard enough to win one, even two of these titles, but to win all three, in two different states (Nevada and Florida) and in two different nations, in just 22 days, and to do so not as a professional shooter but a full time police officer, is nothing short of amazing. Vogel's win streak begs this question: Is there any doubt that Bob Vogel is the best shooter currently competing in the practical shooting sports? And this question: Where does one get a 'Vogel FTW' t-shirt? Elsewhere In The Shooting Sports (Cue The Vapors)... Our man from Japan, Muneki Samejima, reports that Tishio Osuka won the 26th Japan Steel Challenge this weekend in a time of 71.13 seconds. Though the match is shot using airsoft pistols, due to Japan's restrictive firearms laws, and they shoot one less run on Outer Limits (3) and Showdown (4), it still draws a good number of strong shooters that are on a par with many of our own top guns. And lest you think, as some wrongly do, that these are just toys, consider that second place in the match went to the great Tatsuya Sakai (73.50 seconds) who won the Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championship in 2004. The Japanese love the Steel Challenge and make no mistake about it, they know how to shoot, and shoot fast. Here's a look at the remaining top ten finishers: (3) Osamu Hisanaga 73.66, (4) Makoto Nishioka 73.88, (5) Kazuhito Narita 75.23, (6) Shiro Shimada 75.31, (7) Akira Sugisawa 75.62, (8) Toshiei Hoshino 77.02, (9) Hideki Maekawa 77.64, (10) Yoshinori Masuda 78.13. Along with Sakai, Shimada and Hoshino made the trip to Piru, Calif. this past August to compete in the Steel Challenge, proving yet again that airsoft competition is a great way to train for competition with real guns. - Paul Erhardt, Editor, the Outdoor Wire Digital Network Got shooting sports news? Send us an email at