After weeks of travel and dodging flooding at home, I am finally getting a chance to get caught up on my match mania re-caps. First up, the USPSA Single Stack Nationals (SSN)! This is one of my favorite matches. You might think all USPSA matches have a similar feel, but the stages at the Single Stack are different from the sport’s other national championships. There are plenty of partials and no shoots and the courses remind me of the IPSC matches I grew up shooting as a kid. This match is not a “hoser” fest. There aren’t any 32 round courses of fire. Instead, there is usually a standards exercise stressing accuracy, plenty of small courses of fire with a splash of disaster factor here and there, one-handed shooting and even a dark house where shooters maneuver through rooms with the only light provided by a Surefire handheld flashlight.
Historically this event has marked my first major match each year. Unlike years past, when I get a bit of training and a couple of warm up matches in, this SSN was my first match of ANY kind this season. With so many of my fellow shooter friends competing for months already, I was itching to get to the range. I also had a title to defend though I knew that it wouldn’t be realistic to expect to walk away with one. The talent field is significant and it keeps getting better. With so little opportunity to train, I knew it was going to be a challenge, but one I looked forward to!
The days leading up to the match were more than hectic. My husband had been away for work and I had been playing a single mom for several weeks. (Side note – I have such a huge appreciation for single parents and everything they juggle!) At the last minute my little one got sick and I had to delay my trip for a day. Thanks to great friends and my wonderful husband who was able to come home a day early, I was able to make it to shoot the match. Just as luck would have it, my man flew in on the same flight I was leaving out on. Of course, he looked dashing! It was so nice to be able to give him a drive by style hug and a kiss before I was on my way.
Thankfully there was no flight or luggage drama and I was able to get to the hotel late on Friday night. It seems I brought Montana’s cold, wet weather with me. Where it was sunny and beautiful for Friday competitors, shooters on Saturday piled on the layers and dug out the umbrellas. I was so glad I packed my rain gear, gloves and handwarmers!
My squad was AWESOME! It had the best of both worlds shooting with super talented lady shooters Kippi Leatham, Lisa Munson and TD Roe and then competing with some of the top male contenders. I had a front row seat to watch one of the most fierce battles in SSN history between Rob Leatham and Dave Sevigny.
For those of you who don’t know, Rob Leatham (A.K.A TGO – The Great One) has had an incredible reign as this match’s champion for 16 consecutive years! Seriously, that’s the stuff of sports legends. The uber talented Dave Sevigny was on a mission though. Known for his aggressive style, Dave attacked every stage. As an observer I could tell it would be close between these two brilliant shooters.
One stage that really stood out for me was the all steel stage, Mail Drop. It was like it had been tailored made for Dave’s fast foot work and driving target to target transitions. Dave BURNED it down in a jaw dropping 14.30 seconds. He posted the fastest time on the stage and was one of only four shooters who mowed down the 20 pieces of steel in 14 seconds. Then Rob was up. Knowing he had given up valuable points on a run on a previous stage, Rob knew he had to be spectacular. He was. The 2010 champ shot a blazing 13.99! I can’t say I was surprised. After all, Rob is the only shooter I have ever heard of to have completely zeroed a stage – as in NO POINTS AT ALL – at an IPSC World Shoot and then went on to win it. In a nail biter finish, Dave ended up on top. You couldn’t wipe the smile off his face and both shooters were gracious in describing each other and their performances.
My match? Sure, I was tired from the long day of travel the day before. I had a case of the nerves on the first few stages as I worked to get back into the competition groove. I was damp and chilled to the bone. I kept dreaming about a steaming mug of coffee and a big old bowl of hot soup…
I was also giddy.
I was so excited to be there. The best way I can describe it was that it was similar to the feeling I had on the third date night out with my husband after our daughter was born. I say third because the first couple we were glued to our cell phones as worried new parents. I knew win or lose, I was going to enjoy myself!
Of course it helped that I just love shooting my single stack. It’s one of my favorite guns EVER! My Smith & Wesson Pro Series 9mm 1911 with custom work by Pete Single and Warren Tactical Sights is not only beautiful, but it’s set up exactly the way I like it. I’ve said it before, but this gun and ASYM Ammunition shoot so well it feels like cheating.
I managed to take four ladies stage wins and finished in third place behind two very talented women, Lisa Munson and Sara Dunivin. Lisa is always a fierce contender and fun to watch. I hope I get a chance to see Sara shoot next year. She posted impressive scores in the match and won her first Ladies National Title! Rounding out the top five was Nancy Huspek, one the sport’s dedicated Range Masters and Kippi Leatham who, besides competing, was hardly ever seen without a video camera. Thanks for helping me get so much footage, Kippi! Great shooting, ladies!
Thank you to my awesome sponsors! A huge thank you to the dedicated staff who worked tirelessly, especially in the rain, to produce another safe, fun SSN! Thank you also to Beth Cowgill for some of the photos featured in this post. Congratulations to all the winners! For complete results, please visit uspsa.org.