The dust has settled from the USPSA Back to Back Handgun Nationals – literally! The matches were held at the Desert Sportsmen facility in Las Vegas, NV. The range is truly impressive, but even more so are the people who made it all happen. The range officers and staff endured full days in the hot, dusty desert while competitors shot half-day format. Hats off to all of you for your dedication to the sport and thank you for your hard work!
The weeks leading up to the matches, I have been working hard with my talented friends Kippi Leatham and Sharyn Cohen to launch the Women of USPSA websites. I can’t thank them enough. Sharyn hauled all her remote equipment to the range every day of the Open/Production match doing everything she could to bring live streaming video to womenofuspsa.com. Kippi kept her fingers tapping away working on the sites and updates from home until she left to compete in the Limited-10 match. Kippi and Sharyn – my deepest thanks to you both! The hours spent on making this possible have been well worth it. The response and support have been overwhelming. Our website, blog, twitter, facebook and you-tube pages are all up and running and it has been exciting to set a whole new standard for coverage of women in the shooting sports.
In my excitement, the week before the first nationals I pushed a bit too hard in training and developed very aggravating tendonitis. I shot through it the first match the best I could, but my scores suffered. I ended up with a combination of 10 misses and no-shoots. Jessie Abbate however, shot a consistent and clean match that secured her the first of two national titles for the week. Despite the penalties, I still managed to place second in Production – a finish I am very proud of.
Even before the last shot was fired in Production, I had to make a tough decision whether or not to shoot in the Limited-10 match. I decided to compete and take it day by day, but shot minor with my M&P Pro with localized medication and hopes of another Top 3 finish. Both matches were very challenging with the number of partials and no-shoots. Shooting minor was a distinct disadvantage and on some stages it felt like I was threading a dangerous needle just trying to squeeze in another A-zone hit. At the same time though, I was able post some winning stages. Unfortunately one of my best stages was thrown out of the match and when the final scores were posted I ended up in second place behind the very talented Randi Rogers among deep field of top Limited-10 lady competitors.
I have missed the last two USPSA back-to-back national championships to have my daughter and it was a wonderful feeling to return. Dealing with injuries are never fun, but I believe you can turn almost anything into a positive learning experience. I was both giddy and extremely nervous on the stages – a feeling I haven’t had for some time. To all of you who have sent messages and emails wishing me luck, thank you so much. Your support, advice and help both on and off the range means so much.
In closing, congratulations to all the national champions!
Max Michel – Open Champion in a nail biter finish between JJ Racaza & KC Eusebio
Ted Puente – Limited and first time National Champion
Bob Vogel – Production Champion and 2nd in Limited-10
Dave Sevigny – Limited-10 National Champion – a come from behind win
Cliff Walsh – Revolver and first time National Champion
Megan Francisco – Megan won her first Open National Title and her husband Ron is still smiling about it!
Jessie Abbate – Limited and Production Ladies Champion and the only back-to-back champion this year.
Randi Rogers – Limited-10 Ladies Champion and 3rd in Production
Annette Aysen – Revolver Ladies Champion three times in a row