Annette: This is my fourth.
WoUSPSA: That’s awesome – we’re very happy for you! What did you think of the stages at this year’s Nationals?
Annette: I found they were harder this year.
WoUSPSA: That seems to be the consensus! Did you have a favorite stage?
Annette: No, I can’t say I do. There were several I enjoyed, but I can’t say one stood out to me.
WoUSPSA: What do you think of the range/match location?
Annette: It is very different than what I’m used to. The rocks and sandy conditions take a lot to get used to. Las Vegas is a beautiful place.
WoUSPSA: Yes, the mountains are especially gorgeous. So, when did you start training for the Nationals, and how much was range time compared to dry firing?
Annette: I started a few weeks before the match. We are in full home remodeling, so I have been very busy. I did more range time than dry firing.
WoUSPSA: And what did you think when you learned that Sarah Irish and Julie Golob were scheduled to shoot Revolver Division?
Annette: I was very surprised and happy at the same time to see Sarah shooting revolver. I know it isn’t her “cup of tea”. I also expect Julie to do more Revolver shooting with the proper time to prepare for a match. She is a great revolver shooter!
WoUSPSA: Sounds like you’ve had an especially hectic season, especially with the house renovations. We know that in addition to USPSA, you compete in a several other shooting sports – Steel Challenge, ICORE, and NRA Action. With everything going on this year, how did you feel going into the USPSA Nationals and how would you describe your performance?
Annette: Like any competition, I am always looking forward to being there. After the first day, I have to admit, I was thinking it was a mistake! After a few words with a dear friend, though, I knew what I had to do!! Overall, I was very pleased with my performance.
WoUSPSA: Describe what it means for you to win this fourth National Title.
Annette: Going into this match, I hadn’t given it much thought. It was after I saw the final results, that feeling of excitmentcame over me. It is beyond my wildest dreams to be able to say, “This is my Fourth National Title!!” Thanks to Smith & Wesson and all my sponsors for making this dream a reality.
WoUSPSA: You shoot and compete with your husband Elliot. He must be very proud of you. Tell us, what is it like to share shooting with your partner?
Annette: That is not hard to answer. We do so many things together, it just adds more happiness to our years together. You always find yourself wishing for him to do well at the match instead of yourself.
WoUSPSA: That’s sweet to hear, and were you able to learn anything about yourself as a competitor at the match?
Annette: I’ve learned to look at each match as my last and enjoy every minute as a competitor of this great sport.
WoUSPSA: We know how hard you work to promote revolver shooting to women both locally and at the Babes With Bullets™ camps. Thank you for your efforts! Why do you think the participation is low for women in Revolver Division, though, and what can we do to change that?
Annette: To some people, revolver is too hard to shoot. The major caliber is also an issue for a lot of women. I have found at the camps, the ladies do enjoy shooting the revolver and are very good with it. I always bring mine with me and plenty of ammo for them to shoot.
I honestly think if we could include the 8 shot and minor caliber loads in the revolver division, that we would get a few more ladies involved. Also, and I know I’m asking for a lot, to have the Revolver Nationals separate from the others would give the opportunity for other division shooters to compete with the revolver.
WoUSPSA: Pretty good idea there … Do you think USPSA and match directors do a good job of making the courses of fire friendly for all divisions?
Annette: I’m sure they try to make stages friendly for all divisions. When attending a match as a revolver competitor, you know already that each stage will be a challenge. That is one thing that makes me a better revolver shooter.
WoUSPSA: That’s a positive way to look at each stage! Would you consider attending the Revolver Nationals if it were held in conjunction with the Single Stack Nationals?
Annette: Yes I would. It would be interesting to see the numbers of competitors that would attend.
WoUSPSA: Do you lift weights or do grip strengthening exercises to specifically build your muscles used in shooting?
Annette: No I don’t. But when I do have the time I walk and do a cardio work out which does include some weights.
WoUSPSA: What other kinds of physical training do you do?
Annette: I love to work in the yard. Cutting the grass with a push lawnmower is a great work out.
WoUSPSA: Sounds enjoyable, too! To stay energized, what is your snack and beverage of choice on the range?
Annette: Lots of water, fruits and nuts.
WoUSPSA: Was this your last major match of the year or do you still have more competitions to attend?
Annette: Yes this was my last major match this year. I am looking forward to our local match, Louisiana Gator Classic, at the end of the month. It will be fun!! Running a match is almost as fun as shooting it.
WoUSPSA: We’re sure you’ll do a great job “directing”! With the match season rather lengthy, how do you typically unwind when all the matches are over?
Annette: Spending time with my family and friends always does the trick!!
WoUSPSA: What are your long-term competitive shooting goals?
Annette: I’ll try to continue competing next year. We’ll see what life has to offer!
WoUSPSA: If you weren’t a competitive shooter, what do you think you would be doing?
Annette: Taking care of my family and home.
WoUSPSA: Nice! Do you have any additional special talents or skills that you would like to share with us?
Annette: I consider myself to be a “handy-man”. My father was a carpenter. I learned a lot from him when we built our house. We also built my son’s house. I’ve learned out of necessity to finish sheet rock and do tile work.
WoUSPSA: Wow – Those are great skills to possess! So, when you aren’t on the road or at the range, what are your favorite activities to do at home?
Annette: Spending time with my granddaughter and working in the yard.
WoUSPSA: And what advice would you give to any new shooters starting out?
Annette: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Try different guns if the opportunity presents itself. And above all, be safe and have fun.
WoUSPSA: To wrap things up, tell us how you and Elliot celebrated your awesome finish at the USPSA Revolver Nationals?
Annette: It’s funny you should ask that. When I made plane reservations, I was unable to get seats together. So on the ride home from the airport, which is about 50 minutes, we were able to talk about the shooting we did that week. That was a celebration in itself!
WoUSPSA: Annette, congratulations again on your fourth Revolver National Championship Title! We appreciate you taking the time to interview with us!
Annette: Thanks again for everyone’s support!
WoUSPSA: Sadly, we don’t have any footage of Annette shooting the USPSA Revolver Nationals, but we’ve included the video link to Team Smith & Wesson’s 2010 International Revolver Championship, at which Annette won the Women’s Limited World Title!
With the 2010 Smith & Wesson USPSA Handgun Nationals in our rear view mirror, we would like to take a moment to congratulate ALL of the women that attended the match! We hope each and every one of you had a great time, shot to your potential and that you’ll come back next year for more.
Top Women: We’ve already e-mailed interview questions to the Top Women of each division, and we hope to begin posting their responses early next week. Congratulations, Ladies, on your great showing at Nationals!
1st – Rebecca T. Jones
2nd – Jessie Abbate
3rd – Megan Francisco
4th – Lisa Munson
5th – Athena Lee
6th – Jenny Chu
7th – Eva Micklethwaite
8th – Kaci Cochran
Limited 10 Division:
1st – Randi Rogers
2nd – Tori Nonaka
3rd – Maggie Reese
4th – Sue-Ann Henriques
1st – Randi Rogers
2nd – Julie Golob
3rd – Tori Nonaka
4th – Kay Miculek
5th – Kippi Leatham
6th – Carrie Jamrogowicz
7th – Cindy Noyes
8th – Lisa Levis
1st – Annette Aysen
2nd – Sarah Irish
3rd – Sue Irish
Our good friend, Paul Hyland, who has already given us a multitude of great photos and tons of video, was also kind enough to crunch some numbers, and for that, we thank him! Here’s what he came up with:
Paul’s goal for 2011 is to see the number of women increase at Nationals. As a start, we could all introduce one new woman to our sport next season. Now that sounds like an attainable New Year’s resolution. So what do you say, ladies … shall we help him out? : )
Ladies, ladies, ladies… I need your help.
Some of you know me, most of you don’t, but nearly all of you know my work. I handle the PR for USPSA, the Steel Challenge Shooting Association (SCSA) and ICORE and my post match releases can be seen on a variety of websites including The Shooting Wire, Michael Bane’s DownRange.tv (DRTV) and others. I also serve as the main shooting sports blogger for DRTV and have blogged from events like the 2008 Nationals in Tulsa and this year’s Area 6 Championship.
This year USPSA is focusing on increasing our promotion of the women competing in matches. As part of that effort we are including the women’s results in our main releases and distributing releases solely on the Lady’s title winners.
One of our main efforts is to place more stories in the local press. We’ve had a lot of success with stories like those on Julie G. in the Great Falls Tribune in Montana, Kay Miculek in the Shreveport Times and Beth Wingfield in The Daily Citizen in Georgia.
In order to get more pickup of these stories I’d like to ask you to create a Flickr account of good, high-quality (and high-resolution) shooting images of yourself. This isn’t anything new and quite frankly I’m stealing a page out of the Smith & Wesson playbook. They have created albums for each of their sponsored shooters which have allowed me to provide local media images to support their stories.
My suggestion is to look at the S&W shooter albums for Julie and Annette Aysen to get an idea of the kind of images that work best. It goes without saying that the images need to show your face, so those back-of-the-head shots friends took of you at the range won’t work too well for PR purposes.
I also recommend that the Flickr account be specific to shooting and not contain your personal and family shots as these aren’t relevant to photo editors at local papers. Think of the account as a visual representation of your shooting resume.
If you find that you do not have access to good pictures I’d be happy to shoot a couple of you if I happen to be at the same shooting event you are attending. Unfortunately my schedule is a lot less busy with shooting events than yours is likely to be. However, Yamil Sued, who shoots (pics) for S&W and many of you already know, is your best option for photos.
I highly recommend you seek out Yamil this season and ask him to do a series of photographs of you for PR purposes. I talked to Yamil about this and while it will cost you a very nominal fee, it will be the best money you spent when your picture accompanies an online story or appears in a local newspaper. This is particularly important for those of your with sponsors. Just ask Julie.
There is also one more additional request I have of you. It would be a big help to me for PR reasons if you could ‘friend me’ on Facebook. After a match I am usually looking for hometown info on shooters and if it is after hours at USPSA HQ, I cannot find that info or an email to contact you.
Just recently I used Facebook to contact Kippi Leatham to get the name of Sara Dunivin’s hometown after being told it was either Phoenix, Tempe or Scottsdale. I also relayed a message that a writer for Gun Digest wanted to know about what equipment Rob Leatham used at this year’s Single Stack Nationals.
Both cases illustrate how Facebook can be a useful tool for our PR purposes. To ‘friend me’ you can find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/paulerhardt.
Please let me know if you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them, and thank you in advance for helping USPSA/SCSA/ICORE with their PR efforts.
- Paul Erhardt
Thanks Paul for working so hard to promote the Women of USPSA. Ladies, once you have an account, please join our Flickr Group – http://www.flickr.com/groups/womenofuspsa/
We’re moving on with coverage of the second of the 2009 Back to Back USPSA National Matches, with interviews from the Top 3 Women in Revolver Division…
3rd Place – Echo Hester
WoUSPSA – Congratulations on your 3rd-place finish, Echo! How many Nationals have you competed in?
Echo – Just two.
WoUSPSA – Annette Aysen told us you shoot primarily for fun. How often are you able to practice throughout the year?
Echo – I only practice at local matches.
WoUSPSA – Going into the Nationals, what was your strategy for the match?
Echo – Look cute, shoot straight and don’t DQ!
WoUSPSA – I like that strategy! Can you describe your performance on Day 1 for us?
Echo – The Maryland Bullshooters wore their Green Shirts. Attitude was positive and the stages were simple, fun, and challenging.
WoUSPSA – How about Day 2?
Echo – The Maryland Bullshooters wore their Red Shirts. The exercise received walking from stage to stage was not bad in the morning. Stages were again simple, but challenging.
WoUSPSA – And how did the last day go for the Maryland Bullshooters?
Echo – The Maryland Bullshooters wore their Red & White Shirts. Looking good, shooting straight and staying out the ricochet line of fire.
WoUSPSA – Sounds like you shoot with a great bunch! Describe your best stage, and why you think you did well.
Echo – Stage One was my favorite, it represented shooting in the desert, well decorated, great ROs. It’s just a shame someone screwed it up for all of us.
WoUSPSA – Which stage was your most difficult, and why it was difficult?
Echo – Stage 9. I did not like the ROs and I choose not to shoot the stage.
WoUSPSA – We’re so sorry to hear that, Echo. What did you think about the rest of the stages?
Echo – They were great Revolver Stages.
WoUSPSA – Would you like to say anything else before we go?
Echo – I think most of the Revolver Shooters are the best of the bunch. They are all friendly and not at all cut throat.
WoUSPSA – Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with us. Congratulations again on your USPSA Nationals finish, Echo!
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2nd Place – Sue Irish
2009 USPSA Area-5, 6 and 8 Revolver Champion
WoUSPSA – Congratulations on your 2nd-place finish! How many Nationals have you competed in?
Sue – Thank you. This year’s Nationals match was my first.
WoUSPSA – We welcome you and certainly hope you enjoyed it! Now, you won a few USPSA Area matches this year. Were the Area matches a part of the Nationals “preparation plan”?
Sue – No. The Area matches were for fun, like all of my matches.
WoUSPSA – We know you have a job that keeps you very busy (TechWear, USA). How often are you able to practice throughout the year?
Sue – I guess you could say I shoot matches as practice. I don’t have a practice or dryfire regimen.
WoUSPSA – Going into the Nationals, what was your strategy for the match?
Sue – To do the best I could do and have a good time doing it; really no particular strategy.
WoUSPSA – Can you please describe your performance on Day 1?
Sue – Day 1 was pretty much an average day. I was satisfied with how I did on at least half of the stages that day.
WoUSPSA – How did the second day go for you?
Sue – Day 2 was a struggle. I had to pull myself up after a tragic time on “the star”.
WoUSPSA – That’s unfortunate, Sue. More than a few of us had trouble with that spinning star. Was your final day of the match better?
Sue – Yes. Day 3 was by far the most enjoyable and also the day I was most satisfied with my performance.
WoUSPSA – That’s great that you came back! Can you describe your best stage, and why you think you did well?
Sue – Stage 5 “Which Way” was my best stage and I think I did well on it because I was able to keep to my plan.
WoUSPSA – Which was your most difficult stage, and why was it hard for you?
Sue – Most definitely Stage 7, “Spinnin’ Star”, was my most difficult. I saw I had shot a no-shoot at the start, so I had to do a reload to make that up (not a problem with anything but a revolver on this stage). All the reloads had to come off the shelf, so that messed me up right from the start. Then I went to the star and just couldn’t get my timing down. It took a lifetime to clear that star, but I wouldn’t give up on it.
WoUSPSA – Good for you! : ) Is this a good time to ask what you thought about the stages?
Sue – For the most part, the stages were enjoyable. I think I would have liked a higher round count.
WoUSPSA – Do you have any comments that you would like to finish with?
Sue – As a revolver shooter, you just can’t beat being on a squad with lots of other revolver shooters!
WoUSPSA – Great ending thought! Thanks for taking the time to be with us, Sue. Congratulations once again on your 2nd place finish!
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USPSA Ladies Revolver National Champion – Annette Aysen
3-Time USPSA National Revolver Champion, 2009 IRC Champion, 2009 USPSA Area-2 Revolver Champion
WoUSPSA – Now that you have had some time to take it all in, how does it feel to have won your 3rd USPSA Nationals?
Annette – It is such a great feeling of accomplishment at this point in my life. If someone, even if it was ten years ago, would have said to me that I would attend a match on the National level, I would have had to argue the point.
WoUSPSA – Going into the Nationals, what was your strategy for the match?
Annette – At this match, I planned to shoot at my level and speed at which I could achieve the best score (especially with all of the no shoots that were used, as you well know). That is usually how I can place in the upper half of the finishing.
WoUSPSA – Did you know you were in position to win going into the last day / stage? If so, how did this affect you?
Annette – No, not really. There are not many lady revolver competitors that I’ve seen shooting USPSA matches. My goal is usually to place as high as I can against the male competitors.
WoUSPSA – Can you describe your performance on Day 1?
Annette – Yes. Like any other match, I play it safe on the first few stages. I don’t ever want any mikes [misses] or no shoots.
WoUSPSA – And on Day 2?
Annette – I really started to enjoy the match. Maybe just a little too much – two mikes. Silly ones at that. Had some good stages. Shooting 70% or above with this group is great.
WoUSPSA – Finish up your match by telling us about Day 3.
Annette – It was good. I was really paying mind to the job at hand. The star stage was our last one. I took a few extra shots at the star – more than I would have liked.
WoUSPSA - Can you describe your best stage, and why you think you shot it so well?
Annette – My best stage was Stage 9. I shot 78% on that one. It was a good feeling. The lay out of the stage was made for my way of shooting. Reloading between arrays, full targets and, of course, the swinger being there at the right time for me to shoot.
WoUSPSA – How about your most difficult stage. Why was it hard for you?
Annette – Shooting 58% on Stage 3 was my worst in the match. It wasn’t that it was difficult for me. I didn’t go into the stage with the right frame of mind. There were shorter distances between arrays for loading and I was not watching my front sight. My overall total points were low.
WoUSPSA – What did you think about the stage designs in general?
Annette – I enjoyed the stages. In my oppinion, there were too many no shoots. You can still have a competitive match with out all that white.
WoUSPSA – You shoot regularly with Team Smith & Wesson. Do you think you have an advantage being able to train with a team that pushes you to be better?
Annette – Yes, it is an advantage to be a part of such a well trained team. I have always believed to practice with someone equal to or greater than your own ability.
WoUSPSA – What do you admire most about your teammates?
Annette – I would have to say their support. I can go on and on about what the team has done for me.
WoUSPSA – Do you have any comments about the match that you would like to add?
Annette – I would like to try to get more revolver shooters participating in the Nationals. This weekend, I’m attending a revolver IPSC charity match in Memphis. There are going to be over 70 shooters. The Smith & Wesson International Revolver Championship (ICORE) this year had over 200 shooters. This year at the Nationals we had 33 competitors. Why is this? I would welcome the chance to compete against more shooters in the coming year, both man and woman alike!
WoUSPSA – Thank you for your time, Annette. Congratulations once again on your 3rd USPSA National Revolver Title!
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Stay tuned for coverage on the next division, Limited-10!
Wrapping up our coverage of the Top 8 Ladies in the Production Division, here are our interviews with Julie Golob and Jessie Abbate.
2nd Place – Julie Golob
5 Division USPSA Ladies National Champion
Julie – Thanks so much and yes, definitely glad to be back! I am so fortunate to have been able to work with Team Smith & Wesson even with taking the time off. In that way I still felt connected to the shooting sports, but I really missed competing and spending time with shooters. What a great bunch of people!
WofUSPSA – With a family, a full-time job and a shooting career in full swing, have you had any challenges re-adjusting to your practice sessions and matches?
Julie – Challenging is a great way to describe it! Before I had my daughter, I had almost single-minded dedication to my season and shooting goals. Now I feel as if I am juggling between so many aspects of my life – shooting, work and motherhood. I have a whole new respect for Kay (Miculek), Kippi (Leatham), Carina (Randolph), just to name a few of the women who have balanced being moms with winning. With less time than ever to train, I’ve learned how to be more focused when I am at the range. I enjoy every aspect of shooting even when my performance may be off. I’ve learned to multi-task in ways I never did before. In the end I find it extremely rewarding and I feel so lucky to be able to do so many things I love.
WofUSPSA – You’ve had an amazing year already, winning 3 major championships to date (NRA Bianchi Cup, IRC, & Steel Challenge Production Division). Congratulations! Tell us how it feels to win so many events, so quickly after having taken nearly two years off?
Julie – Being able to win 3 major titles this year is absolutely thrilling. Honestly, I didn’t expect to do so well coming back. I had goals to be in the Top 3 of every event, but in the end if that didn’t happen I didn’t want to be too hard on myself. Whenever I got down about where I felt I needed to be competitively, my husband was always there to support me and to say the right thing to keep it all in perspective.
WofUSPSA – You do so much to promote the shooting sports, especially women in the shooting sports. How do you feel when you see some of your teammates improving and excelling at the matches?
Julie – I am so proud of all my teammates (male and female) and it is exciting to watch them excel. For the women, Kay Miculek and Annette Aysen are certainly no strangers to the winner’s circle. Carrie Jamrogowicz, Laura Torres-Reyes and Molly Smith are newer to shooting and in just a short amount of time have proven they are contenders. The number of women shooting at such a high level just helps to invigorate the sport and for me is very inspiring.
WofUSPSA – Competing in so many different shooting sports throughout the year, how do you think it affects you in USPSA?
Julie – I love to compete in different shooting sports. I think it helps me to become a better shooter all around. That said though, other than Single Stack Nationals and the Mile-High Showdown, I didn’t shoot any other big USPSA matches this year and only one club match at the beginning of the year. That brought a little anxiety into play going into Nationals. I didn’t feel totally prepared for the specific skills I knew I would face. To some degree it is like riding a bike, but at the same time when you jump back on you can expect to fall over a couple of times.
WofUSPSA – What was your goal for the Production Nationals?
Julie – My goal for the Production Nationals was to place in the Top 3.
WofUSPSA – Who did you feel would give you your greatest competition?
Julie – The field of talent in this division has exploded in the past couple of years. Jessie Abbate has hit the shooting world by storm and has had a phenomenal two seasons. Randi Rogers has carried over her amazing talents from cowboy as well. There are up-and-comers like Carrie Jamrogowicz and Dianna Liedorff posting great scores too. There is no room to slack off and it’s exciting to see women performing so well in this division.
WofUSPSA – How do you feel you performed in the match?
Julie – I felt I did very well in the match. I faced some challenges with an injury and all considered am very happy to have clinched 2nd place against some really great lady shooters.
WofUSPSA – Can you give us a day by day account of your match?
Julie – Day One I felt like it was my very first nationals all over again. I had giddy, nervous butterflies the whole day. Between the nervousness and flinching from a tendon injury I racked up some penalties right off the bat. I finished up the day with 2 misses, a no-shoot, some D’s and slower times than I would have liked. Day Two was definitely my best day and I really felt dialed into the gun. I posted some of my best runs this day. After the second day though and the frequency of shooting, I really struggled. In the end I ended up with 10 penalties. On paper it was probably my worst nationals ever, but all things considered I am so happy with where I finished.
WofUSPSA – What was your best stage?
Julie – My best stage was Makin Extra Money. I was the high lady on this stage and was only 1.69 seconds slower than the Stage Winner’s time, Robert Vogel.
WofUSPSA – What was your favorite stage and why?
Julie – My favorite stage was also Makin Extra Money. I really enjoy stages with intense position work. This stage really forced you to be smooth and know exactly where you need to be at every point. It also had a great mix of hard and easy targets. You constantly had to shift gears.
WofUSPSA – What did you think of the stages?
Julie – I felt the stages looked very simple at first, but they were deceptively difficult. I personally like a standards at the Nationals and a bit of a mix in round count with smaller speed shoots and larger field courses. In all though, I think the staff did a wonderful job working with the venue and what they had available.
WofUSPSA – Thanks again for taking the time interview with us! Is there anything you would like to add?
Julie – Thanks to USPSA and all the Range Officers and Staff for another successful national championship!
WofUSPSA – Congratulations on your 2nd Place finish!
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USPSA Ladies Production National Champion – Jessie Abbate
2009 Steel Challenge Multiple World Champion & Back-to-Back USPSA Ladies National Champion
Jessie – Winning the USPSA Ladies Production title was a great start to the week of Back-to-Back Nationals. I knew that my competition was strong, and that there would be no room for mistakes. I trained hard, and stayed focused on the match, and was successful.
WoUSPSA – Competing in so many different shooting sports throughout the year, how do you think it affects you in USPSA?
Jessie – I think each discipline I compete in, in some way helps me in the other areas. All the training, and techniques transfer to other shooting sports, and I feel like it makes me a more versatile shooter.
WoUSPSA – You shoot primarily Limited and Open throughout the year. What did you do differently to adjust to shooting a Production gun and 10 rounds?
Jessie – Transitioning to Production was an easier shift than what I thought it was going to be. I spent more time dry firing than I usually do, since I wasn’t used to reloading without a mag-well, but it was like reuniting with an old friend!
WoUSPSA – What was your goal for the Production Nationals?
Jessie – My goal for the match was to do my best! It sounds simple, but sometimes less is more.
WofUSPSA – Who did you feel would give you your greatest competition?
Jessie – The two ladies that I knew would push me throughout the match were, my team mate Randi Rogers, and Julie Golob. Randi and I have spent a lot of time training together this season, and especially in preparation for the Nationals. I saw firsthand some major improvements that she made throughout the time we have been training together. Randi’s accuracy and consistency is second to none, and I knew that I would have to bring my A+ game! Even though Julie was transitioning back to a full competition schedule this year, her experience and list of extensive match wins makes her a top competitor and a true threat wherever she goes. With both of these extremely talented ladies vying for the same title, I knew that a stellar match would be what it would take to be victorious.
WoUSPSA – This is the one match that both you and your teammate Randi competed against one another. Do you find that their is more pressure to do well when shooting against one another, especially with Randi as the defending national champion?
Jessie – Competing against Randi at the Production match did add a little more pressure than normal. She and I train together quite a bit, and I had seen such an improvement in her shooting this past year. Randi is a strong competitor and very passionate about shooting, just as I am, so I knew it would be a race all the way to the end!
WoUSPSA – How do you feel you performed in the match?
Jessie – I was very happy with my performance at this match. Being able to walk away from a National championship with a clean match, was a feat I had not yet accomplished!
WoUSPSA – Can you give us a day by day account of your match?
Jessie – Day 1: Day one of the Nationals started early that morning, and we shot stages 9-12. For me, the first stage of any match, whether it’s the Nationals or a club match, always makes me a little anxious. So what I try to do is just see the sights and let them dictate the speed. After the first stage is under my belt, I’m ready to go! Stage 10 & 11 were quick low round count stages, but they were still very “setup” intensive. I had to make sure that my footwork was spot on, so that I wouldn’t over shoot a position, and insure that my set ups were exact. The last stage of the day was almost a combination of all the aspects from the previous stages. It was a medium level round count stage, but incorporated no-shoots, steel, and barriers. Again, having smooth transitions from position to position was important. I was happy with my performance thus far. I think I hit every reload, I felt smooth and consistent, and every stage went according to planned.
Day 2 & 3: The second and third day of the match, I shot stages 13-16 and 1-5. Day two, consisted of heavier round count stages, and a lot more movement throughout each. I think stage 14 was my favorite for day two, and stage 16 was one that made me pay extra attention! Starting downrange, you shot three arrays of targets accompanied by no-shoots, with one array at approximately 17 yards. Then you made a mad dash up range, to finish off with two more target groups, also accompanied by no-shoots! As Day three rolled around, I was pretty comfortable with my performance. I didn’t feel like I had made any mistakes that would be detrimental, maybe just a few fumbles here and there. Starting on stage one, gave me a good straightforward stage to start the day off with. Finally, as we get to stage four, the only thing I wanted to do was to get all my hits!! It had multiple swingers, surrounded with no-shoots and hard cover, topped off with small and low ports to shoot them through!! But, when it was all over, and I walked downrange, I was happy to see that I had called my shots correctly!
Day 4: Finally, the last day! Going into the last day, having an idea that I’m ahead, and knowing that so far I have a clean match going, added a little undue pressure. All I wanted was to finish it the same way I started it; focused! I didn’t want all these thoughts to cloud my ability to finish the match to the best of my capabilities. I never think of what’s at stake until it’s over, otherwise I’m focused on the wrong thing. With stages 6-8 left to shoot, that included a spinning star, more swingers and movers, and of course no-shoots! It wasn’t a day that I would be able to just coast through. Each stage, just like the rest, I would have to shoot my best! But at the end of stage eight, after I “unloaded and showed clear”, I realized I had just shot my best USPSA match ever, and it was at the Nationals!
WoUSPSA – What was your best stage?
Jessie – My best stage as was stage 11, “Quick But Not Easy”. The stage consisted of four pieces of steel, two USPP’s and two PP’s, and four metric targets. I started on the left side of the barricade, and engaged the PP with three rounds. Having watched some of my competitors shoot, I saw that the steel was not falling easily with the rounds we were using. After the PP fell, I could then engage the USPP that was behind it. I then moved to the right side of the barricade, and engaged the poppers in the same manner. After a quick reload, I moved to the center of the barricade and engaged the four paper targets in through the window. I ended with a total time of 10.19, and an 8th overall finish for the stage.
WoUSPSA – What was your favorite stage and why?
Jessie – Stage 12 was my favorite stage for the Production match. The way the stage was laid out, it forced lateral movement, and shooting between dividers. You could see targets from multiple positions, and it allowed the shooter to shoot it how they were most comfortable. I had found a way to shoot the stage that eliminated a reload, but forced me to shoot an array of steel and targets with no shoots, with only one extra round at one point. It was a fairly quick stage, but precision still played a major part. Fortunately, I made my shots count, and didn’t need my one extra round!
WoUSPSA – What did you think of the stages?
Jessie – I thought the stages for the Production match were well written. They presented a good challenge, but were easily executed, and production friendly.
WoUSPSA – Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions! Congratulations once again on winning the Ladies Production Title!
The USPSA Handgun Nationals for 2009 are complete. The back-to-back events were hosted by the Desert Sportsman’s Rifle & Pistol Club in Las Vegas, Nevada. The second o f the two National Events crowned champions in Limited, Limited 10 and Revolver categories. Congratulations to our new National Champions!
2009 USPSA Limited Champions are:
Jessie Abbate & Ted Puente
2009 USPSA Limited-10 Champions are:
Randi Rogers & Dave Sevigny
2009 USPSA Revolver Champions are:
Annette Aysen & Cliff Walsh
With the USPSA Handgun Nationals just a few days away, we’re recapping the top shooters of the year, based on the previously hosted USPSA Area Matches around the country. Unfortunately, Area 2 & 4 aren’t scheduled until later in 2009, but we still have plenty of Area Champions to put upon our pedestal! Congratulations to all of our Area Winners!
We are also sending well wishes and good luck to each and every woman who is headed to Las Vegas this week for our USPSA Back-To-Back National Championships! And remember, what happens in Vegas … stays in Vegas! (Except for what happens at the range. We’ll proudly be posting updates and results for all categories of each match via Twitter, Facebook, WomenOfUSPSA.com & right here on the blog.)
If you ever get a chance to compete at one of these top-notch Area Matches, by the way, grab it! The experience, effort, creativity and organization that go into these events are practically unmatched!
2009 USPSA Area Match Championship Results – to date:
AREA 1 – Held June 18 through 21 in Parma, Idaho at the Parma Rod & Gun Club. Match Director – Tim Egan
LIMITED – Lisa Munson 1st, Christie King 2nd
LIMITED-10 – Dorrie Davis 1st
OPEN - Jenny Chu 1st, Carrie Homburg 2nd
PRODUCTION – Carrie Jamrogowicz 1st, Irina Ionescu 2nd
SINGLE STACK – Laura Seurer 1st, Nancy Marrs 2nd
AREA 2 – Begins November 12, 2009 at Rio Salado Sportsmans Club in Mesa, Arizona. Match Directors – Paul Caudill & Bob LaMarca
AREA 3 – Held July 30 through August 2 in Omaha, Nebraska. Hosted by the Eastern Nebraska Practical Shooters. Match Director – Chris Davies
LIMITED – Nancy Huspek 1st, Gail McLean 2nd
OPEN - Sue VanBlaricum 1st, Bobbi Wagner 2nd
PRODUCTION – Carrie Jamrogowicz 1st, Lisa Johnson 2nd
AREA 4 – Begins October 8, 2009 at the Double Tap Ranch in Wichita Falls, Texas. Match Director – Ken Cobb
AREA 5 – Held June 19 through 21 at the South Kent Sportsmans Club in Dorr, Michigan. Match Director – Carl Provan
LIMITED – Gail McLean 1st, Susan Powel 2nd
OPEN - Doni Spencer 1st, Sarah Irish 2nd
PRODUCTION – Carrie Carlson 1st
REVOLVER - Sue Irish 1st
SINGLE STACK -TD Roe 1st, Alma Lenard 2nd
AREA 6 – Held April 17 through 19 at the South River Gun Club in Covington, Georgia. Match Director – our very own Cindy Noyes!
LIMITED – Jessie Abbate 1st, Tracy Iradi 2nd
LIMITED-10 – Randi Rogers 1st, Kay Miculek 2nd
OPEN - Megan Francisco 1st, Kaci Cochran 2nd
PRODUCTION – Beth Wingfield 1st, Melita Ellington 2nd
REVOLVER -Sue Irish 1st
SINGLE STACK – Nancy Huspek 1st
AREA 7 – Held August 5 through 9 in Fulton, New York at Pathfinder Fish & Game (which is Julie G’s original home-town range). Match Director – Milford Lovett
LIMITED – Donna Major 1st, Kathie Sierpina 2nd
LIMITED-10 – Caron Brooks 1st, Evelyn Freeman 2nd
OPEN - Rebecca Jones 1st, Sheila Brey 2nd
REVOLVER -Sue Jenks 1st, Jacqueline Scott 2nd
AREA 8 – Held August 27 through 30 at the Fredericksburg Rod & Gun Club in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia. Match Director – Lew Walker
LIMITED – Jessie Abbate 1st, Tracy Iradi 2nd
LIMITED-10 – Caron Brooks 1st
OPEN - Rebecca Jones 1st, Megan Francisco 2nd
PRODUCTION -Randi Rogers 1st, Tori Nonaka 2nd
REVOLVER -Sue Irish 1st
SINGLE STACK – Tracy Deegan 1st
Well, that’s a wrap! We’ll close our Road to the Nationals coverage by congratulating the 2008 USPSA Ladies Handgun National Champions:
The 2009 Steel Challenge World Speed Shooting Championships in Piru, CA is the last major event in our coverage of the Road to the Nationals. Held August 13-16, the best steel shooters in the world hit the range to compete in the eight challenge Steel Challenge courses of fire. Check out our coverage of the S&W US Steel Shoot Nationals for more info about the courses of fire and crowned national champions.
There were several new faces from USPSA at the match this year. Junior Shooter Tori Nonaka made her Steel Challenge debut in Production and Rimfire divisions. Tori is definitely one to watch out for in the future! Also new to competing at The Challenge this year was Tasha Hanish. Tasha burst onto the USPSA scene as a junior over a decade ago. Always a top contender, she took several years off to start a family. Jumping back on the competition circuit full time this season, she has a new sponsor, blog and outlook on competing. Welcome back Tasha!
We were sad to see that two of the best lady open shooters in the world, Athena Lee and Rebecca T. Jones were not able to make it to this year’s Challenge. Athena is no stranger to the winner’s circle at Steel Challenge, winning in 2002 & 2003. She is also a two-time winner of the coveted IPSC Ladies World Title. Rebecca is a real contender in Steel Challenge as well and has placed in the top 5 at both the Steel Challenge and the S&W US Steel Nationals. She is also the reigning 2008 USPSA Open Ladies National Champion. We missed both their amazing skills and charming personalities on the range this year. We hope to see you next year!
What should you know about this year’s Steel Challenge?
Well, simply the women were power houses! Jessie Abbate was brilliant. She dominated in every division she competed in – Open, Limited, Rimfire and Steel Master. To say she won Top Lady is just the tip of the iceberg. We felt Jessie’s performance was so amazing that only she could put it into words and jumped at the opportunity to interview Jessie.
Women of USPSA: First of all, CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Jessie: Aw, thanks!
Women of USPSA: So, in all how many world records did you shatter at this year’s Steel Challenge?
Jessie: In all I think it was 21. Let’s see… 5 Open Stage Records, records on stages and overall in both Rimfire and Limited and then the overall Ladies Open Record.
Women of USPSA: Winning the S&W US Steel Nationals earlier this year, did you do anything different to prepare for Steel Challenge?
Jessie: I did. I changed my training approach. One thing I focused on was being able to shoot a match cold. I practiced shooting the full match and that really gave me an idea of what I could do.
Women of USPSA: Did you ever imagine you would do so well at the Steel Challenge?
Jessie: As a shooter, we all hope to win and win big. So yes, I hoped to, but I never dreamed it. I have broken the 90 second barrier in practice, but that’s practice. To break 100 seconds in the match was something I felt I could do and was a good goal.
Women of USPSA: 100 seconds is a great feat! That also explains why you were moved to tears on the range after learning you broke 95 seconds.
Jessie: I couldn’t believe it at first. I knew I shot well, but to do that. It’s something that will always stay with me.
Women of USPSA: How do you feel heading into the USPSA Nationals after such a phenomenal performance?
Jessie: Well I am jacked about winning Steel Challenge, but I am careful not to get overconfident. You can’t take anything for granted. Steel Challenge is stand and shoot match. In USPSA you have so many factors. I shot a good match at Area 8 as a warm up and it gave me some great feedback on what to work on.
We’d like to thank Jessie for taking the time to talk with us. Jessie’s performance at the Steel Challenge was an out-of-the-ballpark homerun! She not only broke women’s world records, she placed a phenomenal 18th Overall in the combined match results.
Here are the results for the Top 3 Women in Open, Limited, Rimfire & Steel Master:
New to The Challenge this year was USPSA Production Division featuring production legal guns, holsters and 10 round capacity. Julie Golob also had a great performance posting impressive scores that would have placed her 2nd Woman in the faster Limited Division. She won the Ladies Production World Title and finished with a total time of 116.61, 2nd Place Overall behind the sport’s legendary Rob Leatham.
Top 3 Women in Production:
In Revolver, Molly Smith and IRC champion Annette Aysen faced off in Iron Sight Revolver. Molly placed 8th Overall with a 142.76 that was enough to win over Annette’s 12th Overall finish and 149.05 seconds. Janet Leach earned the win in Optical Revolver with 164.40 over fellow competitor Krista Terry.
We’d also like to congratulate Janae Sarabia for winning Pre-Teen Junior Female in Open Division and Molly Smith in Pre-Teen Junior Female in Rimfire. These young ladies are an inspiration to junior shooters everywhere!
June 5-7, 2009 the best revolver shooters in the world met to compete in the 18th Annual Smith & Wesson International Revolver Championships (IRC) in sunny San Luis Obispo, CA. The match consisted of 12 challenging courses of fire all with wheel guns, of course!
In iron sight revolver divisions, Annette Aysen has been synonymous with Ladies Revolver Champion for years in several shooting sports including ICORE, USPSA, Steel Challenge and American Handgunner. It was no surprise when she once again dominated at this year’s IRC. Annette placed 21st overall in Limited and 5th place A Class. Her total score of 359.34 seconds was over 11 seconds faster than 2nd Woman, Lisa Farrell – a revolver champion many times over herself.
Rounding out the Top 5 Limited Ladies:
Making her debut at the IRC, Julie Golob competed in the Open Division. Shooting a full 25 seconds faster than 2nd Place Lady Beate Sexton, Julie added Women’s Open Revolver Champion to her list of many titles.
Rounding out the Top 5 Ladies in Open:
We’d also like to extend congratulations to the upcoming junior ladies talent Janae Sarabia, Rachel Crow and Molly Smith! Way to go, girls!