LIMITED, PRODUCTION & REVOLVER
All of the clam-shell targets at this match had one thing in common, they only left a narrow 2” high target to engage after activation. Knowing where the sights were set was vital in order to avoid some significant penalties in this match. Munson was winning on this stage until the final day when Carina Burns Randolph narrowly edged her out. Maggie Reese took the honors in the Production race, despite still being constrained by a knee brace she blasted through the stage over two seconds faster than Randi Rogers. I asked Lisa Munson what she thought of the stages this year;
Lisa replied, “I thought this years stages seemed a bit more challenging. I've certainly never seen as many Virginia Count stages in a Nationals match.”
Opting to shoot in the fading light worked out well for Tori Nonaka and Randi Rogers as they both recorded their highest place stage finishes on the Stage 13, ‘Go Get Em’. The stage was running at around fifteen seconds for the top ladies so it was all about the accuracy thanks to a couple of fast swingers and some tight no-shoots. Jessie remarked, “It’s always a troubling thought, thinking your going to lose light and you still have a few stages to shoot. Thankfully the match director gave us the opportunity to come back and shoot in the morning, and the RO’s stayed out on the range as long as there were people willing to shoot.”
Leaving the range in the fading light they would have to return an hour earlier in the morning to complete Stage 15 and close out the first day of their schedule.
Stages were again running late as the morning squads closed out the second day of the match, leaving some of the range crew without a lunch-break, runners were dispatched to bring them some food from the vendor tent while they continued to run the stages for the afternoon squads. On the final day of the LPR Nationals, Randi, Tori, Jessie and Svetlana took on Stages 7-11, by this time Svetlana knew she was out of the running in the Production match due to the belt issue putting Randi firmly in the lead, but with only five stages today the match was far from decided in the Limited Division.
After running their ammo through the chronograph, Stage 7 & 8 beckoned, these two stages shared a single berm, but backlogs were at a minimum as the second of them was a straight up virginia count speed shoot that zipped along without a hitch.
A little more fun was to be had on Stage 7, a mirror image stage it consisted of a static target, a small popper hiding behind a larger one that activated a swinger, the same setup on the left and right. Opening the central door revealed two static targets and two more devilish clam-shells. The fastest times came from engaging each of the two sides, large popper, static, swinger, then back to claim the small popper, repeat on the other side then open the door and try to snag the left clam-shell before the right-hand one then whack the two static targets. No-shoot penalties were applied to many competitors who tried to outshoot the clam-shells or hit that tiny 2” sliver of target.
I spoke to Jessie Duff about the final stage;
“I don’t feel that I was affected by the lighting conditions, thankfully, but I think it was just luck of the draw, that I was near the top of the shooting order for the last stages of the day. It could have just as easily been me shooting in the dark!’, she explained. It was past 6:30pm when the squad finally left the range, the awards ceremony started thirty minutes later at the SunCoast Hotel and some of the squad arrived late having little turn-around time to drop off guns and get changed. By the time Randi, Jessie, Tori et al had arrived the one hour deadline to correct scores had already been announced. I asked Randi about the late finishes for the Limited/Production match;
“The lighting was a serious issue for many of the shooters.”, said Randi. “I gambled on the first day and shot a couple of stages after the sun went down. [My] Stage 11 score was incorrect and I spoke to match staff at the awards ceremony but I guess it didn't get changed. I usually check scores after the match but never during.”
For Jessie Duff, Randi Rogers and Annette Aysen it was another night to remember as they were crowned Champions of the Limited, Production & Revolver Nationals. For Jessie it was the fifth consecutive win in the Limited Division, I asked her to describe her string of victories; “One victory has never been the same as the last, and I am always grateful for each and every one. They are all unique in their own way, and are so meaningful for one reason or another. Plus, now that I’m counting them, I definitely don’t want to break the streak!”, Jessie exclaimed.
A morning start on Day two and what a difference the daylight makes. The last time that Randi, Tori and Jessie had shot Stage 11 the daylight was fading rapidly. Randi took a top twelve finish on this difficult standards stage and finished nearly a full second faster than Jessie who was shooting Open !
For Jessie, it was another clean day, as she cleaned up on Stage 7 beating out Shane Coley in the process and another clean run on the tight Stage 8, edging out both Kaci Cochran and Max Michel Jr ! She dropped a few points on the final stage of the day, the circular Stage 10 where she managed her only ‘D’ hits of the day, three of them.