By Lars Dalseide | August 3 2011 11:24

Port Clinton, Ohio - Joseph Hein won his first NRA Smallbore 3-Position Championship in 2009. Unable to defend his title in 2010, he instead represented the United States at the ISSF World Shooting Championships in Germany. This year, he was back at Camp Perry with a title to reclaim.

Lones Wigger presents 2011 Smallbore 3-Position champion Joe Hein with one of his many trophies during the Smallbore 3-P awards ceremony on NRAblog
21-time NRA Smallbore champ Lones Wigger presents Smallbore 3-Position champion Joe Hein with one of his many trophies during the 2011 awards ceremony.
“This year the major international (shooting) match is the Pan-American games in October,” explained Hein. “That’s why I’m able to compete here this year.”

But the return was almost stymied when a shot was lost on his final target. That would have meant that 17-year old Garrett Spurgeon’s debut would be a championship run. Unfortunately for Garrett, Hein’s challenge was upheld and his victory sealed.

“The team was giving me a hard time, asking if I wanted to file a challenge at the grocery store or on the dinner bill,” Hein said. “But the officials here are good about reviewing targets in a timely and accurate fashion.”

Like many at the NRA Championships, Hein grew up hunting with family and friends. With his chocolate lab in tow, there was game, fowl and deer to be had in the outdoors of Mason, Michigan.

“Dad got me started at a young age with 4-H,” Hein said. “He became a leader and coach in an effort to facilitate every opportunity I had to shoot. YHEC was pretty big for us too. So I’ve got Dad, Pop Richards and all the gang up at Looking Glass River to thank for helping me along the way.”

And if things continue to go well for Hein over the coming months, he might have to thank them for an Olympic appearance in London next year too.

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