This is our last set of interviews from the 2009 USPSA Limited-10 Nationals.  Enjoy the read, as you get to know the BEST L10 Lady Shooters in the country a little better …

2nd Place - Julie Golob
9-Time USPSA National Champion, 2009 NRA Bianchi Cup Champion, 2009 Steel Challenge Production Champion, 2009 IRC Revolver Champion

Julie Golob - Photo Courtesy of J. Scott Durkin -

WoUSPSA – You shot a very impressive match, Julie … Congratulations!  That makes for back-to-back 2nd place finishes! Tell us how it felt to finish the L10 match knowing that.

Julie – Thanks so much!  I am so proud to place second at both of these matches.  The competition in these divisions is fierce!!!  To think we have women who are sponsored and even some that are true pros, just shows how far our sport has developed.  To place so high among these talented women is very exciting.

WoUSPSA – You shoot so many different types of matches throughout the year, ICORE, Steel Challenge, Bianchi, IDPA.  What did you do differently to adjust to shooting a back-to-back USPSA Nationals?

Julie – Unlike many of the other shooting sports, USPSA really exposes how well a shooter moves.  Whether it’s target to target transitions, set ups into positions or shooting on the move itself, conservation of movement is critical.  To get ready for USPSA, I focused what time I had on these skills as well as my reloads.  Shooting L-10 and Production with only 10 rounds in the magazine, I knew that how well I could consistently reload could make or break me on any number of stages.  Finally, I chose to keep the same platform for both matches, Smith & Wesson M&P’s.  Originally I had hoped to shoot the M&P in .40 for L-10, but after shooting with a tendon injury in the Production match, I felt I would perform better with my M&P Pro, 9mm minor.  The back-to-back format is like a marathon for our sport. The key is to keep focused and take one stage at a time. It makes for a long, challenging week. At the same time it’s a lot of fun!

WoUSPSA – Wow, thanks for all that great info!  What was your primary goal for the Limited-10 Nationals?

Julie – I like to set my goals for each match right at the beginning of my season.  This year I wanted to place in the Top 3 Women at each of the events on my schedule.

WoUSPSA - Mission accomplished … good job!  You and Randi both posted some amazing runs, back and forth.  It was a lot of fun to watch.  How do you approach each new stage when you have such close, tough competition?

Julie – Shooting neck and neck in a match is always tough, but so exciting at the same time.  The competition in this match was fierce with a great showing of impressive women; Kay Miculek, Kippi Leatham and Randi Rogers, all multi-time national champions.  In this situation, I try to stay positive and aggressive on each stage and tackle them one at a time.  I pick my plan, remind myself to stay flexible and then do my best to shoot my sights.

WoUSPSA – So, how do you feel you performed in the second of the two events?

Julie – I am very happy with my performance in the match.  I had a couple of sub-par stages, but also had a number of good runs too.  Randi shot very well, and to come so close to the win shooting minor is something I am very proud of.

WoUSPSA – Can you give us a day by day account of your match?

Julie – Absolutely! The first day of the match I felt I was a bit “loose.”  I shot some D’s and had a miss but in all I was pretty happy with my times.  I knew I would need to shoot better points if I was going to stay in the running. With that  in mind going into the second day, I really honed in on my front sight.  It paid off and I made up some ground until my last stage of the day, Stage 2 – Timeout Again.  I was so focused on getting my hits on the steel and swingers on this stage that I pulled a shot into one of the many no-shoots in the match.  I earned one of those dreaded no-shoot/miss combos.  My time was good enough that it wasn’t too catastrophic, but it certainly didn’t help my standings.  The last day I knew that I needed to shoot strong.  I pulled out all the stops and shot a solid match.  My last three stages, I was able to move up nearly 25 points and I felt like this was the best last day I have had at a USPSA Nationals.

WoUSPSA – Did you know you were in contention going into the last stage?  If so, how did that affect your performance?

Julie – Going into the last stage, I knew if I shot strong, I might have a chance for the win.  I have been in this position before and I think having that experience was beneficial.  The most important thing for me was to tackle the stage with everything I had.  I didn’t want to leave the range with any regrets.  Win or lose, I gave it my all and that’s what really matters.

WoUSPSA – What was your best stage?

Julie – My best stage result was Stage 7 – Spinnin’ Star.  Texas Stars are always a challenge, but this one was spinning before you even got a round off!  There was so much going on in this stage between the no-shoots, a critical standing reload and of course the star.  I placed in the Top 16 and it was very exciting to post such a high score.

WoUSPSA – What was your favorite stage and why?

Julie – My favorite stage was Stage 1, even though it was arbitrated and removed from the match.  This stage was only 12 rounds and that made every element critical, from the draw and first shot, to a well executed reload and a critical set up to see the final targets. Several no-shoots gave it high disaster factor and made it one of those stages that can really shake up the results. Stages like this are exciting to both shoot and watch.

WoUSPSA – Overall, what did you think of the stages?

Julie – I liked the stages. Many of them, at first glance looked very similar to the Open/Production match.  The changes were subtle, but I shot several stages differently than I did in the first match.  In a perfect world, I think it would have been neat to have an entirely new set of courses.  With only a few hours to change things up after working long hours all week in the desert sun, the RO’s and USPSA Staff did a wonderful job.  Like the Open and Production match, the stages were deceptively difficult and there were a significant number of no shoots and tough shots.

WoUSPSA – We appreciate your time and comments, Julie.  Do you have anything you would like to add before we go?

Julie – I want to thank everyone who has been so supportive of me coming back on the circuit.  Your warmth and encouraging words mean so much.  I am so lucky to have amazing sponsors and to be a part of the extremely talented Team Smith & Wesson.  Thank you also to my partners in crime Kippi Leatham and Sharyn Cohen for working so hard to break ground on the Women of USPSA project.  Your work to promote the women in our sport has my deepest appreciation.   Finally I can’t thank my husband enough.  Jumping into a full competition season and working with the challenges of caring for our 1 year old through it all haven’t been easy.  His love, honesty, support and friendship throughout this year are greatly cherished.

WoUSPSA - Congratulations again on your successful season and your 2nd place finish at the Limited-10 Nationals!

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1st Place - Randi Rogers
2009 USPSA Limited-10 National Champion

Randi Rogers - 2009 USPSA Limited-10 National Champion - Photo courtesy of J. Scott Durkin.

WoUSPSA – You shot such a strong, aggresive match! Congratulations, Randi! Tell us how it felt to win the 2009 USPSA Ladies Limited-10 Title.

Randi – I think that I am probably more proud of this title than just about any other. It was such a challenge coming back from the Production match and shooting against so many talented and accomplished shooters. I feel honored to have won.

WoUSPSA – You shoot primarily production throughout the year.  What did you do differently to adjust to shooting a major caliber pistol?

Randi – Well, funny you should ask.  I actually did a really dumb thing.  I went and had the grip on my G35 stippled about two weeks before the nationals.  Well, the gunsmith did a good job, but when I tried to shoot with the stippling it was so rough that is tore up my hands.  I practiced with it and my left palm and the fingers of my right hand were cut by the stippling.  I ended up missing a couple of practices and having to wear band-aids during the Production Nationals.  I know better than to change things right before a match, but knowing better doesn’t always stop a person.  Take it from someone who knows, don’t change things before a major match!

As for shooting preparation, I just tried to alternate practices between my Production set up and my Limited-10.  A lot of dry fire to get used to the different holster and practice to get used to the recoil.  Fortunately, the G34, production, and the G35, Limited-10, are identical besides the recoil, so switching up wasn’t too hard.

WoUSPSA – Seems to have worked for you!  Did you have a goal going into the Limited-10 Nationals?

Randi – My goal is always to shoot my best.  I was lucky this time that my best was good enough to win.

WoUSPSA – You and Julie both posted some awesome runs, one after another, and often, you and Jessie are quite close when competing.  How do you approach each new stage when you have such tough competition?

Randi – I always just try to shoot my game.  Ultimately, I am competing against myself.  If I am doing the best that I can do then whatever happens happens.  I approach each new stage as the most important stage of the match.  I try to disregard what my competitors do and remember that I am me and there is nothing else that matters.  My goals are to hit the targets and be smooth.  If I can do that, I am happy

WoUSPSA – And how do you feel you performed in the second match?

Randi – I felt that my performance in the match was adequate. I believe that there never has been and never will be a shooter who is happy about the way they shot. Each person feels that there is something they could have done better. It is the same for me. There are a couple of shots that I would like back. However, I am pleased with the results so I can’t complain too much. Shooting for me is a leaning process and I just try to learn as much as I can to make my shooting better.

WoUSPSA – Would you give us a day by day account of your match?

Randi – Well, I shot both matches, so after the Production match I was really determined to shoot better. On Wednesday, I tried to take it easy. I went and registered, and I went to the indoor range, where we shipped our ammo, to fire a few rounds. I shot groups and tried to get myself back on an even keel.

Thursday I shot late so I slept in and ate a big breakfast. My shooting on Thursday felt really strong. I shot stages 9-13. The stages were similar to the previous match which made the shooting a little easier. I didn’t make any mistakes on the first day.

Friday we shot early. I normally like to shoot early because it is easier for me to stay focused early. I had two no shoots and one mike on stage 16 and then I had a Mike on stage 2. Stage 16 was a couple of challenging shots that I pulled, and stage 2 I didn’t put enough shots on a mover. I think I had gotten a little too confident the first day and pushed too hard the second.

Saturday was my final day of shooting. I shot in the afternoon again and I was ready. I dry fired that morning and concentrated on staying relaxed and focused. It was a little nerve racking, but I held on and came out victorious.

WoUSPSA – Did you know you were in the lead going into the last stage? If so, how did that affect your performance?

Randi – I was pretty sure that I was in the lead going into the last day. For that day I just tried to shoot my sights and get my points. For the last stage I knew that it was close. I knew that I needed to get my hits, but I also knew that I needed to stay aggressive and not give up anytime. I wanted to be aggressive and I got a little too aggressive and popped a no-shoot, but I got the hit so it all worked out.

WoUSPSA – What was your best stage?

Randi – My best stage was stage 12, Flippin’ Out. I worked really hard on this stage because I had gotten a mike on it in the last match and I didn’t want to do that again.

WoUSPSA – What was your favorite stage and why?

Randi – My favorite stage was the Texas Star stage, stage 7. I like shooting steel and I thought it was fun and challenging the way they made the star spin.

WoUSPSA – So, what did you think of the stages in general?

Randi – Overall I thought the stages were OK. It is tough shooting a back to back Nationals because the range can’t change all the stages, but they can’t really leave them all the same either. I wish that there would have been more diversity and standards.

WoUSPSA – Do you have any comments you would like to add in closing?

Randi – I would just like to thank everyone for coming out and I look forward to seeing everyone again next year.

WoUSPSA – We’ll be there! Congratulations again, Randi, on winning the 2009 USPSA Limited-10 Nationals!

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That wraps it up for the L10 Nationals coverage. We have one more to report upon, the Limited Nationals, and there are quite a few new names in the Top-8! We’re excited to be bringing you their stories …

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Continuing coverage of the USPSA Limited-10 Nationals – To follow are interviews with the women who finished third through fifth…

5th Place - Debbie Keehart
Member of Gold Team USA – IPSC WS XIV Standard Division Gold Medalists, 2009 USPSA Area-2 Limited Champion

Debbie Keehart - Photo courtesy of J. Scott Durkin,

WoUSPSA – Congrats on your Limited-10 Nationals finish this year, Debbie!  You usually shoot a mixture of Limited and Production throughout the year.  What did you do differently to adjust to shooting a major caliber, 10-round pistol?

Debbie – What’s key for me is to alternate frequently between the two guns.  I do that for about 3 months.  Then the time it takes to adjust is maybe just a magazine or two.

WoUSPSA – What was your goal for the Limited-10 Nationals?

Debbie – First, to perform to my current ability after having some pretty good practice sessions, and second to at least bring home a stage win.

WoUSPSA – So, how do you feel you performed in the match? Did you attain your goals?

Debbie – Well, I got my stage win….and had a few good runs, too!

WoUSPSA – Nice job! What is it like shooting in the Ladies’ Squad?

Debbie – My first time was scary!  (That was a long long time ago, though.)  Now, I look forward to shooting with my friends!  Many of us have been shooting together for a long time and enjoy doing things together off the range as well!  The ladies squad is a group of the best female shooters supporting and cheering each other on!  I wouldn’t want to shoot with anyone else!

WoUSPSA – Can you give us a day by day account of your match?

Debbie – Day 1, “Oh crap Deb, relax!  It’s not the end of the world”.  Day 2, “Ok, so you’re off to a bad start.  Get it out of the way and the rest of the day will be better” ….it was!  Day 3, “Now I’m feeling good.  May I shoot day 1 & 2 over again please?  I’m so glad I’m here!”

WoUSPSA – You have a great attitude, Deb!   ; )
What was your best stage of the match? 

Debbie – That would be #2, the one with the two swingers that we had to shoot at through the low port.

WoUSPSA – What was your favorite stage and why?

Debbie – I know there was one because I remember saying “that was fun”.  But without looking at the book, I couldn’t tell you what it was now.

WoUSPSA – What did you think of the stages?

Debbie – I thought they were all challenging, interesting and designed so shooters of all skills levels could shoot them at their own pace.  Maybe the Texas star wasn’t the best choice due to prop failure issues …

WoUSPSA – Did you enjoy being in Las Vegas?

Debbie – Absolutely!  I would tell you more, but “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, and I’m back in Phoenix now!

WoUSPSA – Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Debbie.  Do you have any comments you would like to add?

Debbie – For all of you readers who have not been to a Nationals yet, GO!  It is a great time, you meet great people and you’ll love the challenge.  If you haven’t started competitive shooting yet, get to a local club and you’ll find just about everyone is willing to help you get started.  And then set your sights on the next Nationals! 

WoUSPSA – Congratulations again on your Limited-10 top 5 finish!

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4th Place – Kay Miculek
9-Time USPSA Open Champion, 13-Time USPSA Multi-Gun Open Champion

We have contacted Kay and are awaiting her reply. She’s been extremely busy with her Ladies Shooting Camps and travel. We hope she’ll get back with us soon and when she does, we’ll update her responses right here.

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3rd Place – Kippi Leatham
4-Time USPSA National Champion, 2009 Area-2 Production Champion

Kippi Leatham - photo courtesy of J. Scott Durkin -

WoUSPSA – Being married to arguably one of the best shooters ever, Rob Leatham, managing his business, working to promote women in the sport, and being a mom, needless to say, you stay very busy.  How do you manage it all and what do you do to work on your shooting and personal goals?

Kippi – I do stay very busy, but I also consider myself extremely fortunate to have  “jobs” where I work from home.  Have you witnessed the traffic in Phoenix?  ; )  Seriously though, it’s the same kind of juggling act that we all do.  There’s too much on the plate, so we prioritize and then re-prioritize!   Somewhere in the mix of business and family time, I go to the range to practice a couple of times a week.  I also try to shoot at least one match each week.  I’m so very lucky to live in a location where we can shoot quality matches year-round.    Personal goals, unfortunately, have been low on my totem pole.  I occasionally take time to enjoy yoga, golf, exercise, and friends, as I know it’s beneficial to my overall well being. 

WoUSPSA – This year you gave us a nail-biter finish at the USPSA Single Stack Nationals and finished 2nd Woman.  As someone who shoots primarily single stack (and really well!), what do you do differently to prepare for Limited-10 courses of fire?

Kippi – Thanks for the compliment …  I so love the simplicity and the challenge of the iron-sighted, single stack & production-type guns!  Preparing for the L10 Nationals was not much different than preparing for the Single Stack Nationals.  I shot the same gun, but with 10-round mags.  Having TWO more rounds seems huge - 25% more ammunition – but in reality, it just gives you different options as to how to shoot a stage.  Your rounds are still very limited at each position.  Rio tends to hold high-round-count stages, which I take advantage of by simply breaking [the stages] into smaller sections.  When I only have 8 or 10 rounds in my magazines, I don’t look at a stage as 30 rounds, I address it as three or four mini-stages in one.   I consider every shot, every reload, every movement within each section of major importance and try to execute as planned.

WoUSPSA – Do you feel that by focusing primarily on one gun throughout the year, you have an advantage going into Limited-10 and Single Stack competitions? 

Kippi – Gosh, it should be an advantage!  Wish my overall results supported me on that hypothesis!  ; )  I certainly don’t think it hurts to shoot one type of gun throughout the season.  However, with the variety of matches offered during the year and the level at which the top contenders compete, I think it’s critical to be able to change gears quickly and shoot more than one type of firearm.  I’m trying to be more open to the concept of shooting different firearms and disciplines.   Julie G has been trying to get me to shoot Bianchi for years now.  I’ve just never made the effort, but I certainly see the value.  If you look at our top lady shooters, you’ll notice they have one major thing in common … they all shoot a variety of guns and a cross-section of matches. 

WoUSPSA – What was your goal for the Limited-10 Nationals? 

Kippi – 1 – To not distort and strain my face : ) when the buzzer went off; 2 – To shoot with confidence to the best of my ability;

WoUSPSA – How do you feel you performed in the match?  Can you give us a day by day account?

Kippi – Day 1 – Yuk – Nothing feels “right” for me.  Coffee wouldn’t brew, don’t like our condo (advice – avoid renting from Las Vegas Retreats), and I’m not settled in.  I am feeling a little anxious about the match, as I never bothered to look at the stages before hand.   Our first stage is the “house” stage, “Stand Still Bob”.  I’m nervous, as I usually am on the first stage, and I [stupidly] change my game plan at the last minute.  Needless to say, I don’t execute the stage well.  2 misses, 1 no-shoot.  For whatever reason, I am unable to “leave the last stage behind”, like I know I should.  I drive away from the range with four misses and two no-shoots total.  By far, my worst first day of a Nationals ever … again, yuk!

Day 2 – It’s a new day.  I wake up with a smile, letting go of yesterday’s performance.  We have an early start, coffee machine worked (yay!).  I feel much more settled.  I shoot like myself, actually grab a stage win and finish 2nd to Julie G on another stage.

Day 3 – Late start, but I’m looking forward to the afternoon.  I am a bit disappointed that I’m not really “in contention”, but know that I need and want to shoot strong.  I manage to win two more stages and finish toward the top on most of the others. 

WoUSPSA – You really poured on the coal for the last day and made up a lot of ground.  Can you tell us what its like to come from behind and what you did in this match to propel you into 3rd place?

Kippi – Well, I knew I was no where near Julie or Randi for the win, but definitely wanted to be next in line.  I focused on my stage execution and my sights and got through the day with no penalties.  Funny thing … if I’m not in contention, I’m not nearly as nervous.  ;  )

WoUSPSA – Tell us about your best stage.

Kippi – Based on my overall percentile, Stage 10, “Get Your Gun”, was my best stage, but Julie beat me out by a hair.  We both shot 66 points. It took me 9.32 seconds and Julie 8.87 seconds.  Good shooting, girlfriend!  My best OA finish was on the Spinnin’ Star Stage. 

WoUSPSA – What was your favorite stage and why? 

Kippi – I actually liked “Start, Swing & Finish”, Stage 4.  It was a 29-round movement course with a swinger and an activator, and it required a tiny bit of aiming.  I like to shoot stages with options.  The ladies in our squad executed this stage several different ways.  I love stepping up to the line, knowing I’ve figured out the best way for me to shoot a stage.  I think that’s what makes a course of fire fun, challenging and interesting. 

WoUSPSA – As someone who has had a very successful shooting career that spans 20+ years, how would you compare this year’s match to other Nationals?

Kippi – This was a strange Nationals.  Due to the layout of the range, there was a very isolated feeling.   I always enjoy watching friends and other competitors shoot, but it was difficult to do that with the deep bays and widespread stages.  I never saw my husband shoot a single stage, never took one photo or video of him.  There also wasn’t the typical group of “spectators” watching the event.  In that respect, it did not really “feel” like a Nationals to me.  The stages were good, some were great!  I’m old school, though, and prefer to follow the IPSC format of 3 small, 2 medium, 1 large stage.  I think it’s a better test of shooting skills because you can easily incorporate standards, strong & weak hand, gun manipulation, standing reloads, etc., but we haven’t held matches like that in many moons.   Regardless, I do think a National event should test as many shooting-related aspects as possible and I don’t think this year’s event quite accomplished that. 

WoUSPSA – Any comments you would like to add? 

Kippi – I just want to extend my sincere appreciation to all of the ROs and match staff.  I imagine it was NOT much fun being at the range all day long, all week, in the dry, hot, dusty & windy conditions.  Our sport could not exist without the dedication and time commitment of our ROs and match organizers, and I thank them again for all they do. 

WoUSPSA – Here, here!  Thanks for talking with us, Kippi, and congratulations again on your 3rd place finish.

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Don’t go far … later this week, we will post interviews with the top 2 Limited-10 women shooters in the country, Julie Golob and Randi Rogers!

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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

2009 USPSA Production Nationals - 2nd Place Julie Golob.  Photo courtesy of Paul HylandWofUSPSA – You’ve taken some time off to start a family.  Congratulations!  We are so happy to see you back on the range with gun in holster.  Are you glad to be back?

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

2009 USPSA Ladies Production National Champion Jessie Abbate.  Photo Courtesy of Paul HylandWoUSPSA – You’ve had an amazing year! Congratulations! Tell us how it felt to win the 2009 USPSA Ladies Production Title so decisively.

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!

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Wrapping up our coverage of the Top 8 Ladies in the Open Division, here are our interviews with Rebecca T. Jones and Megan Francisco.

2nd Place – Rebecca T. Jones
2008 Ladies Open National Champion

2009 USPSA Open Nationals - 2nd Place Rebecca T. Jones, Photo Courtesy of Paul HylandWoUSPSA – Congratulations on your second place finish! Going into this year’s nationals, how did you prepare to defend your title?

Rebecca – Prior to the Nationals, I shot a lot of matches this year.  I won high lady at every match with a lot of A class wins leading up to the Nationals.  The pressure of a match, even local matches, is the best form of training for me.  Match experience is crucial.  In order to take time off from work to attend matches, my live-fire practice was often limited.

WoUSPSA – Who did you think was going to give you your biggest competition?

Rebecca – I knew all the ladies would be tough competitors.  But after shooting with Megan all year, I had a feeling she and I would be neck and neck, as usual!

WoUSPSA – You shot exclusively USPSA this year and opted not to compete in Steel Challenge or other events.  Do you think that helped or hurt you for this match?

Rebecca – Much of the reason I shot exclusively USPSA was due to time constraints.  Having to take time off work forced me to pick and choose the matches I attended.  USPSA is my favorite type of competition and I wanted to concentrate on that this year.  It’s tough to compare USPSA to Steel Challenge; they are two totally different games that I train differently for.

WoUSPSA – We understand you came to Nationals sick.  Sorry to hear that!  What was it like competing when feeling less than 100%?

Rebecca – I had been sick with bronchitis and pneumonia for about a month prior to the Nationals.  I tried to find a balance between getting myself well and training for the Nationals.  Unfortunately I went downhill just before the match.  Being ill and on meds definitely made it difficult for me to focus and shoot to my potential.

WoUSPSA – Can you give us a day-by-day account of your match?

Rebecca – Day 1 started off well for me – my first two stages were strong.  But I was slow with a no-shoot on my third stage, which cost me about 20 points. Day 2 was a strong day for me.  The stages were accuracy-intensive this day, which I like.  Out of the five stages I won this year, two were on this day. Day 3 brought my second no-shoot of the match.  I was “off” on a couple of stages, which kept me back from Megan about the same as I was at the end of Day 1 & 2 – about 15-17 points back. I finally started feeling better on the last day of the match.  On Day 4 I shot well, but with only 3 stages to go, there just weren’t enough points for me to catch up.  Despite giving it my all on the last stage with a good time, I was too many points down on the bobbers. I ended up gaining about 10 points on Megan on that last day, keeping me only 7 points behind her in the end.  She shot a very consistent match and that’s how you win.

WoUSPSA – What was your best stage?

Rebecca – My best stage was Stage 1.  It was a deceivingly hard stage with some tight shots and tough set-ups.  Being 14th overall on a stage at the Nationals was very exciting for me.

WoUSPSA – What was your favorite stage and why?

Rebecca – My favorite stage was probably Stage 8.  Accuracy and proper footwork were very important on that stage and it would have been easy to drop a lot of points.  You really had to stay focused for the whole stage.

WoUSPSA – What did you think of the stages?

Rebecca – The Nationals should be our premier venue and I thought the stage design lacked a bit of creativity.  I don’t think there was enough movement or distance shots, and everyone typically shot each stage the same.  I did like seeing so many no-shoots, believe it or not!

WoUSPSA – You shoot with Megan regularly.  In her acceptance speech, Megan acknowledged you. Do you think you have an advantage being able to train with another lady that pushes you to be better?

Rebecca – I do think it’s an advantage to shoot with Megan throughout the year. We push each other and keep each other on our toes. There are quite a few really good shooters in our Area who push me to be better, and I feel fortunate to be able to shoot with them on a regular basis.

WoUSPSA – Thanks for taking the time to interview with us.  Is there anything you would like to add?

Rebecca – I had an awesome squad at the Nationals this year!  I got to shoot with a lot of good friends from the east coast and it was great to have their friendship and support.

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USPSA Ladies Open National Champion – Megan Francisco
This is Megan’s first Ladies Open National Title after placing a close second at the 2008 USPSA Open Nationals

2009 USPSA Ladies Open National Champion - Megan Francisco, Photo Courtesy of Paul HylandWoUSPSA – Congratulations!!! Now that you have had some time to take it all in, how does it feel to win your first USPSA Nationals?

Megan – After shooting the sport for 6 years, it feels great to have reached my goal. Winning the national championship was something I have always thought about and to have achieved it is a great personal accomplishment.

WoUSPSA – Going into the nationals, what was your game plan for the year?

Megan – My mental game was the first aspect of training that I worked on. I was really strong mentally at the nationals in 2008 and I knew I had to do the same this year. That 2008 performance gave me the confidence to know that I was capable of winning the Open Nationals. I also made it a point the past two years to increase my cardio endurance and to be physically stronger. I did this by running an average of 15-20 miles weekly and lifting weights to increase my upper body strength.

Technique wise, I decided to focus a lot on improving my movement and ability to get into and out of shooting positions. The biggest change in my shooting was having access to a nearby covered outdoor range (Range82 in Midland, Va.). It enabled me to train almost daily, rain or shine and allowed me to set up specific drills that incorporated movement. Prior to 2008, I had only been able to train in a booth at indoor ranges. Wow, what a difference!

WoUSPSA – Who did you think was going to give you your biggest competition?

Megan – There are so many top lady shooters; you can never count any of them out. Doni Spencer, Athena Lee, Kay Miculek, Lisa Munson and Rebecca Jones are all capable of winning. Because I shoot with Rebecca regularly, I know her capabilities and her level of dedication. She is the one who I am always looking out for and she constantly pushes me.

WoUSPSA – Do you think you came in as an underdog?

Megan – I don’t think I did. Maybe the public thought so because they don’t know much about me, but I didn’t. I finished 5th in 2005 and 2007 and was 2nd place last year by only 3 points to Rebecca.  So, I don’t feel like I came out of nowhere. After last years nationals I knew that I could win and that is what I set out to do this year.

WoUSPSA – How did you maintain focus throughout the match?

Megan – I just tried to focus on each individual stage. My main goal is to execute my plan without extra shots. Whether I was able to accomplish that or not, by the time I got to my next stage I had to have a clear mind and be ready to think about the stage in front of me and leave the past stage behind. My i-pod always helps with that. There is nothing like good music to relax you and clear your mind.

WoUSPSA – Could you describe your performance on Day 1?

Megan – On day one I shot stages 10-13.  I started out the first stage (stage 10) of the match with a miss. I canted my gun and wound up shooting the wall. This made me re-focus and be much more mindful and deliberate on the next stage. This focus continued as I made no further errors throughout the rest of the day. I felt really good about my performance on Stage 12. I was able to execute my exact game plan by hitting my positions and I didn’t take any extra shots. I finished that day feeling that my performance was solid.

WoUSPSA – How about Day 2?

Megan – On Day two I shot stages 14-16 & stage 1.  I started on Stage 14. I ended up having to re-shoot the stage due to a prop failure caused by the wind. I had to wait a really long time because the same thing happened to Kay (2 times) and it took a while for the RO’s to fix it. I generally do not mind re-shoots but I was getting anxious because there were two other squads backed up waiting for us to finish. I told myself that they didn’t care what I did, they just wanted us to finish so they could shoot. That helped calm my nerves. I was able to completely focus and shot well on that stage. The rest of the day was very steady, until we got to Stage 1, our last stage of the day. On that stage I lost my concentration and slapped a shot into a no-shoot. I was thankful that was our last stage for that day.

WoUSPSA – Half-way through the match, how was Day 3?

Megan – Day three I shot stages 2-6 and started with Stage 2. That stage had some swingers that you had to get the timing right in order to have a good time. I mostly wanted to come off that stage clean. I did shoot clean but had a slow time because I had missed the swinger and had to wait for another showing. Stages 3-6 I shot solid with good hits and decent times. I usually gauge myself based on how I stand against my husband Ron (I try to stay within a couple seconds of his time and still have good hits) and so I knew I had a solid day of shooting. I don’t ever look at the scores so I didn’t know exactly where I stood against the other ladies but I felt good about my performance up to this point in the match.

WoUSPSA – The final day?

Megan – Day four I shot stages 7-9. My plan for this day was to be conservative and safe due to the unpredictability of the props on stages 7 & 9.  I started out my last day with the Texas Star stage. Usually I have no fear of a Texas Star, but his one was very tricky. If you didn’t hit the plates exactly right, they could disappear and you could give up a lot of time/points. Ron and I came up with a specific order in which to engage the plates, but I also knew that I couldn’t take any extra shots. The plan worked and I was able to hit them one for one. That was a big relief getting through that stage. Stage 8 was a field course and my priority was to hit my shooting positions and shoot clean. My time was decent but I shot a lot of C’s, and knew I gave up some points on that stage. The last stage of the match was stage 9. That was the house stage with the up and down bobbers in the back.  Ron and I talked about it and I knew that those bobbers would be the key targets for that stage. I had to hit them on their first showing or it would cost me too much time. I didn’t feel too nervous starting the stage, but when I got to my first position I trigger froze and it put my mind in panic mode. I was able to get through the course and hit my key targets without extra shots, but I wound up dropping a lot of points because I was rushing. Then I was the most nervous of the whole match. Now there was nothing left that I could do. Ron told me that I had the lead by about 10 points over Rebecca. She hadn’t shot the stage yet and depending on how she shot could determine the winner of the match. She ended up shooting about the same as I did. She had a little better time which helped gain her a few more points on me. After she shot the stage she immediately came over and gave me a big hug, congratulating me. I wasn’t totally convinced that I had won just yet. Not until I saw the official scores did I truly believe it.

WoUSPSA – What was your best stage?

Megan – Stage 14 was my best which is a little surprising because it was the first stage of that day and I had a re-shoot on it. Re-shoots don’t usually bother me, but we had been waiting quite a while because of the work the ROs had to do with the props. By the time I shot, there were two squads backed up waiting. I saw them and just told myself all I had to do was execute my plan, nothing fancy, just shoot one for one and that nobody cared what I was doing. They just wanted me to finish so they could shoot. That calmed me down and I did just that. I was smooth; I nailed my positions, and didn’t take any extra shots.

WoUSPSA – What was your favorite stage and why?

Megan – I liked stage 6 “Check Please”. This was a good stage because it had a mix of targets; open and danger; static and moving as well as steel. It also allowed competitors different ways to shoot it depending on their shooting style.

WoUSPSA – What did you think of the stages?

Megan – Overall I thought the stages were a good mix of field courses and speed shoots. I like standards stages, so I wouldn’t have minded seeing one at the match. I also like big matches, so a few more stages would have been good for me.

WoUSPSA – You shoot with Rebecca regularly. Do you think you have an advantage being able to train with another lady that pushes you to be better?

Megan – I do think it is an advantage having Rebecca to shoot against regularly. I know that if I don’t practice and give 100% that I will have a tough time, because she is out there practicing and giving 100%.  It is always better to have competition. That is the only way we improve. We have also become friends and are so comfortable shooting with each other. That level of comfort helps at the higher level matches.

WoUSPSA – How is it being able to share shooting with your husband?

Megan – It is great having a built in training partner to practice with and travel with. If one of us doesn’t feel like practicing or dry firing, you do it anyway because the other person is doing it. He pushes me to do better and has taught me just about everything I know about the sport. I am always trying to keep up with him too, so that also helps me improve. Aside from all the “technical” benefits, it’s just fun. It is really nice to participate in something we both enjoy together. We always say we take mini vacations each weekend we travel to a match. That is the best part.

WoUSPSA – Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions.  Do you have any comments you would like to add?

Megan – I would like to say thanks to some of the people who helped get me here. Mike Ahlfeld, my gunsmith for building me two flawless guns that I love and never let me down. Lee and Mark at Range82 were a huge help in allowing me access to their great facility to practice. My work agency for their support by giving me the time and funding to train and attend the US Nationals each year. Al Dvorak of Dvorak Instruments, who built an air recoil system for my open gun so dry firing could be more fun.

I have also had a lot of help and encouragement since I first started. From my very first club match I was surrounded by some of the best shooters in the nation. They took me under their wing and are all like brothers to me. My old shooting team “Team Shooters Paradise” Phil Strader, Todd Sindelar, Mike Seeklander, Eric Lund, BJ Norris and of course Ron Francisco were all instrumental in my development as a shooter. Another influence for me was watching the ladies. They all had different strengths I admired.  Kay Miculek and her consistency, Athena Lee and her aggressiveness, Doni Spencer and her pure athleticism, Julie Goloski – Golob and her movement and ability to always look like she was having fun – even if she had a bad stage, Cheryl Cruz and her speed, Rebecca Jones and her accuracy. They have all made me work harder along the way. Lastly, I have to thank my husband Ron. Without him none of this would have been possible. He is my coach, my training partner, my ammo re-loader, my gunsmith, my travel partner and inspiration in everything I do. He is my best friend ~thank you~

For video links of Megan competing at this year’s nationals, check out Women of USPSA on Facebook.

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Thanks so much to all the women who took the time to interview with us!  Congrats to the Top 8 and all the ladies who competed at this year’s Open Nationals!

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Continuing coverage of the TOP 8 WOMEN from the USPSA Open Nationals…

5th Place – Athena Lee
2-Time IPSC World Shoot Ladies Open Champion & USPSA Ladies Open National Champion

2009 USPSA Open Nationals - 5th Place Athena Lee, Photo Courtesy of Paul HylandWofUSPSA – Congratulations on making the Top 8!  You didn’t have much opportunity to shoot this year.  How many matches did you shoot leading up to the Nationals?

Athena – Two and both were local. The Space City Challenge and the Texas Open Championship. The shortage in primers really didn’t help me much. I had to conserve what little I had (under 5k primers!) and work with it. The economy didn’t help much either. By February, my broker had to lay off over 60% of his workers and it was painful to see friends and co-workers getting let go so I had to focus on work more as well.

WofUSPSA – What did you do to prepare even without having the trigger time?

Athena – I knew that I didn’t have the opportunity to work much so I concentrated on physical fitness. After pulling my back two weeks before the World Shoot Last year, I knew I had to do something to make sure that didn’t happen again so I started doing CrossFit.  It is unbelievable how much it has improved my physical strength in such a short amount of time!

WofUSPSA – How do you feel you performed in the match?

Athena – Considering my lack of trigger time, I wasn’t too disappointed with my finish. I felt strong but I think I let the close targets carry me away. When you think you want to go fast and when you think you’re going fast, that’s usually a sign of trouble and I fell into that hole. I ended up with way too many penalties because of that. I made a rookie mistake mind-set wise going into that match by thinking, “Oh!! Close up targets!!! Fun time!” and I paid for it. (LoL)

WofUSPSA – What was your best stage?

Athena – My best stage was Stage 2.

WofUSPSA – What was your favorite stage and why?

Athena – My favorite was, surprise, Stage 2 because there were complicated movements and timing involved. You started out engaging activators and 2 moving targets then finish by backing up and squatting/kneeling and then shooting at targets with big transitions.

WofUSPSA – What did you think of the stages?

Athena – Deceptively simple. It looked simple but if you approach it with the wrong mind set (OMG close targets!! MUST SHOOT FASTAH!), things usually don’t work out very well.

WoUSPSA – Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! Is there anything you would like to add?

Athena – Big congratulations to Megan and Rebecca and the other girls for such wonderful shooting. Though I wasn’t able to shoot with them, seeing their performance on paper told me that they were on top of their game. The field has opened up and the competition has never been as exciting. I love it! I’m looking forward to see how I do next year.

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4th Place – Grace Tan
IPSC Ladies Champion

We’ve sent out interview questions to Grace but unfortunately haven’t heard back from her yet.  As soon we do, we will be sure to post her answers.

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3rd Place – Kay Miculek
9-Time USPSA Ladies Open National Champion & 13-Time USPSA Multi-Gun Ladies National Champion

WoUSPSA – Conrgatulations on placing 3rd! As someone who has a number of Open titles under her belt, what were your goals going into this year’s match?

Kay – My main goal this year was to be more aggressive and pick up my speed. My accuracy, not my speed, is what has kept me near the top in IPSC matches for the past decade.  When both Rebecca and Megan beat me by over 70 points at the 2008 USPSA Open Nationals, I knew the bar had been raised.  If I’m going to continue to be competitive against these ladies, I must get faster.

WoUSPSA – You shoot a wide variety of shooting sports throughout the year.  Do you think this helps you prepare for the USPSA Nationals?

Kay – Actually, I think it hurts my performance at the USPSA Nationals.  I’m often shooting a rifle or shotgun competition when I could be getting in some much needed practice with my pistol.  But I enjoy the challenge and excitement of participating in a variety of shooting disciplines using a variety of firearms.  I think it keeps my interest level up and keeps me from getting burned out.

WoUSPSA – Competing as a veteran in the sport, what do you rely on in your shooting to help you compete at this level?

Kay – At this point in my practical pistol career it’s my consistency that allows me to remain competitive.  I finished 3rd and 4th respectively at the 2009 USPSA Nationals and the 2009 US IPSC Nationals even though I did not win a single stage in either match!  Bottom line is, I rarely burn a stage down, but I just as rarely have a miss or procedural.

WoUSPSA – Tell us about your performance throughout the match.

Kay – I was squadded with Megan and Rebecca for the first time and after their performances in 2008 I wasn’t sure I could hang with those ladies in the speed department. They usually beat my times a little but I was pleasantly surprised to see they weren’t just leaving me in their dust. On Day 2 I continued to push hard on every stage to try to stay within striking distance of Rebecca and Megan.  They were increasing their lead due more to the points I was dropping than the times.  I knew I was giving up many more points than usual but my focus was on speed at this match so I didn’t back off.  I faltered a little on the last few stages of the match and in fact received my only penalty of the match on the last stage when I tagged a no-shoot.  But overall I was satisfied with my performance.  I dropped more points in this match than I have in many years but I stayed aggressive until the last shot and that was my goal.  I am now confident I can still hang with the younger ladies for a few more years.  I look forward to proving that to them and myself in 2010.

WoUSPSA – What was your best stage?

Kay – My best stage was #16, Table Choices.  It had the longest shots of the match with no-shoots on every target.  You could choose to shoot some of the targets while retreating.  Tough precision shoots and a chance to shoot on the move, two of my favorite things to see on a stage!

WoUSPSA – What was your favorite stage and why?

Kay – I’d have to call it a tie between Makin Extra Money and Swing Around.  To do well on Makin Extra Money you had to be very precise in your stage choreography.  If you didn’t nail every set-up you were going to add lots of time having to scoot around to see targets.  It also had some fairly long shots although they were wide-open targets.  Swing Around allowed lots of shooting on the move.  Maybe the real reason it sticks out in my mind is that I had to shoot it three times due to range malfunctions.  Guess that just gave me more chances to run ‘n gun!

WoUSPSA – What did you think of the stages?

Kay – Deceptively challenging.  There were probably less than a dozen targets outside of twenty yards.  The challenge was due to the fifty or sixty no-shoot targets spread throughout the stages.  They humbled those who thought they could just spray and pray.

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Stay tuned for interviews from 2nd Place Rebecca T. Jones and Open National Champion Megan Francisco!

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Another video up!  Here’s a montage of just some of the many amazing performances at the 2009 USPSA Limited, Limited-10 & Revolver Nationals.  Enjoy!

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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

Read the rest of this entry »

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The dust has [temporarily] settled in Las Vegas. The 2009 USPSA Open & Production Handgun Nationals are history! Congratulations to our 2009 National Victors!

2009 USPSA Open National Champions are:
Megan Francisco & Max Michel Jr.

2009 USPSA Production National Champions are:
Jessie Abbate & Robert Vogel

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Things continue to be hot, dusty and windy at the range. We had some successful moments of streaming and hope to improve our luck tomorrow. The ladies race is tough to gauge due to the fact that not all ladies are on the same squad and have different available stage points.  Here are the latest results posted on USPSA


Squad 9:
Doni Spencer – 492.9409
Athena Lee – 477.5723
Lisa Munson – 453.8086
Tasha Hanish – 450.7630

Squad 10:
Megan Francisco – 494.7282
Rebecca Jones – 480.9728
Kay Miculek – 472.5903


Squad 9:
Jessie Abbate – 540.3976
Julie Golob – 497.9300
Randi Rogers – 460.8835

Have you seen our You-Tube Channel? We’ve been posting video from the Ladies Super Squad. Check it out!

Doni Spencer - Photo Courtesy of Paul Hyland

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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, & 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:

  • Open National Champion – Rebecca T. Jones
  • Limited National Champion – Jessie Abbate
  • Limited-10 National Champion – Jessie Abbate
  • Single Stack National Champion – Lisa Munson
  • Production National Champion – Randi Rogers
  • Revolver National Champion – Annette Aysen
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