Local event showcases speedy shooters

MOXEE, Wash. -- The fastest shooting sport in the world is the fastest growing in popularity, including right here in our part of the world. Ready, aim, fire.

Hit targets in the fastest time: It's called Steel Challenge.

Few are quicker on the draw than Patrick Kelley from Moses Lake. Patrick has fired his way to the master's level in eight separate shooting disciplines. He's pretty stoked about this one.

"This is one of the two action games that really captured my attention, my heart," he said. "I love shooting fast. You can hear by the noise in the background, that's pretty speedy shooting out of the holster."

Patrick, along with three world champions, among the more than 60 shooters at this Steel Challenge classic match at Sun Valley Shooting Park in Moxee. It's a tuneup for next year's huge Centennial Steel Championship, marking a hundred years since the local Rifle and Pistol Association joined the NRA.

The fastest growing group in the fastest growing shooting sport: women.

"We have one brand new shooter here; she decided to come in and shoot, and her husband is watching to see whether or not he wants to do it," said Larry Davis.

Linda Sweitzer is a 5th grade teacher in Naches.

"The ladies build a lot of confidence," Larry said. "They go through and shoot a couple matches. They start breathing, their shoulders up. Their confidence level for them completely accelerates."

While one of the good old guys, Patrick, a long-hair in this close knit group: 54 and still right on target.

"But, I'm still playing the kids' game at a high rate of speed," he said. "I'm really enjoying it. They all push me, and occasionally I push them. At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter who won. It's a matter of how much fun you had on the range. That's Steel Challenge, a whole lot of fun. Even when you're missing, it's a whole lot of fun."