2019 Summed Up
2019 is almost over. With that, my major match schedule has also come to a close. What an amazing year it has been! My first major match of the year was Florida Open. Many people say that this match is one of the most technical matches you will shoot throughout the year. This proved to be true to me. In 2018, this match ate my breakfast, lunch, dinner, desert, and every snack I thought about in between. Finishing 99th place in Open Division out of 137 competitors, I shot 47.39% of the division winner. At that time, I was a “B” Class in Open Division. I have to say that was the WORST performance I think I’ve laid down to date. It was very upsetting. Fast forward to FLOP 2019. As an “A” Class, I finished 8th place in Open Division out of 96 competitors; shooting 81.84% of the division winner, Shannon Smith! I went into this match D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-E-D!!! I worked through 2018 with my coach, Kaci Cochran. And she has been GREAT! She’s like a big sister to me. I can’t thank her enough for everything she has taught me through the past couple of years.
After FLOP 2019, I was bumped to “M” Class. This was a big step for me. At 16 years old, I was now in the field with the big boys. I had to be competitive with other Master Class shooters who are on the cusp of being Grand Masters. No more playtime. Now the real work starts. I knew I had to find that new line on being fast and accurate. My first match as a Master was the Alabama Sectional. I finished 5th Master out of 9, I think… I feel that was pretty fair considering it was my first match in Master Class. Again, I had to find that new line. Throughout 2019, I feel I did that. At the Mississippi Classic, I finished 3rd Place in Open overall, and 2nd Place Master behind Steven Sanders, shooting 92.79% of Division Winner, John Vlieger.
Into the big matches, I shot the 2019 US IPSC Nationals in Frostproof at Universal Shooting Academy. I was hoping to take the US National IPSC Junior Title back to back, but IPSC changed their age limit for Juniors back up to 21. I was 2nd Place behind Christian Sailer. This was my 3rd match of the World Shoot qualifier matches I needed to be able to qualify for the 2020 World Shoot Junior Team. I felt really good after this match. So, what I typically do after a big match, especially one that goes well… is take a break. I put my gun away, my dad usually does some preventative maintenance on it… changes springs, checks extractors, ejectors, etc.… and gives it a good once over. Clean and Lube. Depending on the time between matches, I typically don’t talk shop about competitive shooting for about 2 weeks. But with USPSA Nationals around the corner in September, and Georgia State in the same month, I only took about 10 days this time around. Georgia State, I finished 5th in Open overall, and High Junior. After this match, we did another once over on all my equipment, and off to Nationals in Utah we went.
My grandma lives in Utah, and she came to watch me on the first day! Glad you could make it!!! <3
Shooting in Utah was different. I had shot out West before… at MGM Junior Camp some years back. But this was my first actual match in Desert like conditions. Keeping my gun covered, not exposed to the dust and sand… and taking it down every other stage to make sure it was clean and properly oiled was key! I must thank my dad for that. I got to focus on what I was there to achieve. But only 1 disaster stage, and after a close race between 3 other Master Class Junior competitors (Gianni Giordano, Justine Williams, and Austin Ariss), I am happy to say that I finished as the 2019 USPSA Junior National Champion. Just 4.7814 match point/0.22% difference in 1st and 2nd Place! Great shooting to all competitors!
I will update everyone on the 2020 IPSC World Shoot status as soon as I get an update!