Port Clinton, Ohio - To paraphrase a phrase from 48 Hours, there's a new sheriff in town … and his name is Tarl Kempley.
Claiming his first NRA overall title, Tarl Kempley of Carson City, Nevada, braved the blistering sun and tropical force winds to capture an eight point win in NRA's 2012 Smallbore 3-Position Championship. A Championships race (comprised of six individual events) where the only event he won was the last one. But that's the only one you need.
"This is my first NRA National Championships here at Camp Perry," said Kempley. "I've won others in the past, but this is probably the biggest one by far. It's the NRA Nationals."
What makes the title even more impressive are in the conditions in which it was shot. There was an evacuation of the range due to lightening on Day One. There was nothing but sunny skies on Day Three. But the real excitement happened on Day Two ... the winds.
With gusts easily surpassing the twenty mile an hour mark, it was enough to throw a number of competitors off their game. But for Tarl, it was like going home again.
"The first range where Reya and I shoot at in Nevada (Palomino Valley) was windy all the time," explained Kempley. "At 9 o'clock every day it started getting windy. Not this bad but, it was windy."
Carrying on the Family Tradition
Anyone following the smallbore match news over the past few years definitely know the Kempley name. What they don't know is that there is a long tradition of competitive shooting in the Kempley family. One that dates back approximately eighty years.
"My grandfather, Roy, shot here at Camp Perry back in the 30s," said Kempley. "Shot all his life. My grandmother would joke about him abandoning her for the range. My father shot too. Now he's my coach. And Reya (his sister) has been doing pretty well here at Camp Perry for years."
That was as far as Tarl would go. Always humble, occasionally quiet, he struggled to acknowledge his achievement. To place himself along side the names of Wigger, Barnhart and Bassham. It's an encouraging sight to see in a world where achievement and acknowledgement is usually celebrated by those who dance and boast before the cameras with little sense of pride or embarrassment. But that's not in Tarl's makeup.
He just treats it like any other day. A day that ends on stage, at Camp Perry, with a National Title.
Grandpa Roy would have been proud.