Between The Berms: Battling In The Bay State

Aug 21, 2013
This weekend saw New England's top IDPA shooters gathering at the Harvard Sportsmen's Club in Massachusetts to take on the 14 stages of the Smith & Wesson New England Regional. Once again the match was run by the volunteers of MetroWest Tactical IDPA club and, just like last year, they did a fine, fine job. The group is a lot of fun to hang out with, which probably explains why the match is so popular and fills so quickly.
This is the team that put together the Smith & Wesson New England Regional and have helped to make it a very popular match. Photo: P. Erhardt
Match Director Bob Biehl and crew designed a challenging course of fire with a few stages that made me glad I wasn't shooting. In particular, stage10 - called Ecclesia Impetum - had shooters struggling to remember which targets they shot and which they overlooked. You can see a diagram of the stage on but watching shooter after shooter shuffle back and forth along the shooting line, wondering if they were done or not, fostered feeling of pity for the toll it took on their times.
Shooters try to plan their way through the shooting problem presented by Ecclesia Impetum. Photo: P. Erhardt
Winner. Winner. Chicken Dinner... For some shooters, most of the stages seemed if not 'easy' then not so terribly hard - including stage 10. These of course would be the title winners. And chief among them was Tom Yost who posted the overall fastest time (273.69) on his way to collecting the Enhanced Service Pistol title, along with High Senior and High Industry. Craig Buckland posted the third fastest time in the match (291.25) to take the Custom Defensive Pistol title for the second year in a row. David Dolio, with the sixth overall best time (299.37), took the Stock Service Pistol title. Among the wheelgunners it was Gene Gelberger making his own return trip to the podium (though there wasn't a podium anywhere to be found) to collect the Enhanced Service Revolver title.His time was 382.29. And Robert Miller took the Stock Service Revolver title - in a wicked tight four-way battle - with 467.10. Other title winners include High Law Enforcement and Most Accurate winner Joe Linskey in ESP (MA) with 292.96 and 41 points down; High Military Veteran winner Lee Adams in SSP (MA) with 312.99; High Junior Mason Lane in SSP (EX) with 375.02; High Distinguished Senior Frank Palka in CDP (EX) with 418.17; High Military winner Chad Barber, of the U.S. Coast Guard, in ESP (SS) with 442.84; and High Lady Tara Lyon in SSP (SS) with 515.15. The full results are posted online at for those of you that want to see where you friends finished.
Tom Yost reacts to the timer's beep before racking up several titles including ESP Champ, High Senior, High Industry and (the not officially recognized) High Overall. Photo: P. Erhardt
A Girl & A Gun And A Regional... While there were very few women participating in the match, one interesting stat is that four of them are members of the newly formed Connecticut chapter of A Girl & A Gun. Headed up by Samantha Galante, the chapter started started back on March 31 and already boasts over 120 members, which probably puts it close to being the third largest chapter in AG&AG. It seems women in the Connecticut area have been waiting for a women only shooting organization to come along. The group is holding several introductory seminars so expect to see them on a variety of shooting ranges in the future. As for the New England Regional, with any luck we'll see an entire squad of AG&AG members in next year's championship.
Despite having to shoot the entire match strong hand due to upcoming shoulder surgery, Brooke Cheney of the Connecticut chapter of AG&AG spent most of the match laughing and joking around with the staff. Photo: P. Erhardt
The Distinguished Master Of The Photobomb... There's photobombing, then there's photobombing. In the case of Jimmy McColgan, he's taken it to a whole other level and photobombed his own photo WHILE competing. On style points alone, McColgan takes the New England Regional title in this category. And considering the degree of difficulty - or ridiculousness, you decide - there's an argument to be made that as far as this match goes, we ought to call it Jimmybombing. Well played, McColgan. Well played.
Don't try this at home boys and girls, he's a professional. Jimmy McColgan masters the art of the mid-competition self-photobomb. Photo: P. Erhardt
Parting Shots... A picture is worth a thousand words. And for once I'm trying to keep the column under 1,000 words. So here are a few more shots from this past weekend....
Ken Lambert, held together by a $20 roll of tape, shows how it's done. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man...with the equivalent of pink duct tape. Photo: P. Erhardt
It might say Smith & Wesson on the match booklet but there sure were a lot of Ruger shirts in the match. We might see some more in the Live Free Or Die in New Hampshire where Ruger has its main factory. Photo: P. Erhardt
Forget the trophies. This was the best part of the match. When she grows up she'll realize that taping targets was her dad's job and not hers. But until then, it's Dad FTW! Photo: P. Erhardt
- Paul Erhardt, Editor, the Outdoor Wire Digital Network Got shooting sports news? Send us an email at