Between The Berms: Notes From IDPA Nationals

Sep 17, 2014
The 2014 IDPA U.S. National Championship wrapped up Saturday afternoon when the last of the 358 competitors fired their final shots down range at the U.S. Shooting Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Over 350 shooters converged on Tulsa, Oklahoma's U.S. Shooting Academy range to compete in the 2014 IDPA U.S. National Championship. Photo by P. Erhardt
This marks the second year in a row that Tulsa has hosted IDPA's main championship event. With a warm reception from both the host range and the match hotel, the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center, all indications are that the U.S. Championship will be returning to Oklahoma again next year. As far as the competition itself was concerned, the awards ceremony saw both new and returning champions crowned. The newly announced Distinguished Masters, IDPA's highest classification earned only at the national championship events, were wheelgunners Gregg Kratochvil in ESR and Rhett Crutchfield in SSR, and Nils Jonasson, one of the Nation's top shooters, in ESP. The returning champions were Glenn Shelby winning CDP, yet again, and, not surprisingly, Bob Vogel in SSP.
Bob Vogel sticks the reload on his way to another IDPA national title. Photo by P. Erhardt
You can find the full match results online. Most notable in the final stats is Vogel's continued dominance of the sport. Very few shooters come close to matching Vogel in an IDPA match and Nils Jonasson, a blazing fast shooter, is widely considered the biggest threat to Vogel's reign. Yet even he finished the match 22.81 seconds back with 232.22 to Vogel's 209.10. In addition to outpacing Jonasson, Vogel also finished as the most accurate competitor with just 10 points down over 15 stages. Jonasson finished with 23 points down, the third most accurate performance on the range as measured by points down alone.
I love you. You love me. Rogers takes High Lady. Photo by P. Erhardt
When it comes to the women, it was once again the Randi Rogers show. The multi-time national champ (in multiple shooting disciplines) finished third Master, fourth in SSP and 11th overall while holding off 16-year-old ESP Master competitor Ashley Rheuark with 272.79 (55) to 287.57 (43).
When they weren't shooting (or taping), junior shooters Ashley Rheuark and Austin Proulx did what most kids do when bored - they goofed off. Photo by Walt Proulx
Though she fell to IDPA's top woman shooter, Rheuark did manage to successfully defend her 2013 Junior title against "arch nemesis" - and CDP Master - Austin Proulx, who finished the match with 297.01 (84) to take third Master in his division. Turning 18 during the match, this is the last time Proulx will contend for the Junior title. Beyond the success of both Rogers and Rheuark, the larger story coming out of the U.S. Nationals for women in IDPA is the growth in participation. This year's match saw a 50% increase in female participation. The 45 women competing this year accounted for 12.5% of the 358 total competitors.
While they may not have taken home any titles, the members of the A Girl & A Gun squad were enthusiastic, especially when it came to taping. Photo by Dwight Pries
The increase in women was thanks in part to a partnership with A Girl & A Gun which fielded a women only squad as part of an effort to introduce more ladies to the sport. A Girl & A Gun held an IDPA postal match and awarded 12 lucky members a slot to compete. With the success of this year's effort, IDPA and A Girl & A Gun are discussing an expansion of the program for the sport's 2015 national championships. Unfortunately, it wasn't all good news coming out of Tulsa as Saturday morning saw competitors mingling in the the hotel parking lot taking inventory after four vehicles were broken into the night before. This is not an isolated event as large shooting matches often draw an unsavory element to hotel parking lots looking for vehicles left filled with gear by tired competitors. The incident was the only blemish during a week of stellar hospitality at the Renaissance. It is a hard lesson to learn and should serve as a cautionary tale for those of you planning to travel for upcoming matches. Looking ahead though, one of those travel matches is a bright spot on the calendar as the 2015 IDPA World Shoot will take place next March in Puerto Rico. This will be the sport's second World Shoot, and a trip to Puerto Rico when most of the U.S. is still digging out from winter was a hot topic among many of the competitors at Nationals...especially those shooting with their significant other. Seems like an international shooting match is always a great excuse for a few days vacation.
Danielle Vermeulen, and ESP Sharpshooter from South Africa (by way of Arizona) was among the 45 women competing at this year's championship. Photo by Dwight Pries
Brandon Wright of Team ITI, but more recently Team Smith & Wesson, jokes with Blade-Tech's Nils Jonasson (left) and Brett Russo during a break in the action. Photo by P. Erhardt
Plus two? Minus two? Or maybe just a quick photobomb before the 'shooter ready' command. Either way, the range staff at the IDPA U.S. Nationals found time for a lighthearted moment or two. Photo by P. Erhardt
- Paul Erhardt, Editor, the Outdoor Wire Digital Network Got shooting sports news? Send us an email at