2011 Florida Open

Posted: April 20, 2011 in Shooting Adventures

February 18-20, 2011

I began my shooting season a tad earlier this year by shooting the Florida Open. I usually don’t start shooting ‘till March or April but this year is a World Shoot year so I figured I was going to try to get more matches in between now and October.


I decided to shoot this match all in one day. Suffice to say, I will NEVER shoot this match all in one day ever again. The match was comprised of 10 fun-filled field courses. I had to re-shoot one thirty-something stage TWICE due to a couple of well-meaning but overzealous tapers who taped ahead of the RO scoring so it ended up being a one-day 12-stage match for me! My feet were screaming at me at the end of the day no thanks to the $30 kid’s-size cleats that I was wearing.

Frank Garcia and the gang at Universal Shooting Academy ALWAYS deliver a top-notch, world class match and this year, they did not disappoint. The courses were challenging and gave the shooters several options to execute each stage. I was squadded with my friends from California, Valerie Levanza et al., and the Miculek family from Louisiana, Kay, Jerry and Lena. This was Lena’s first major match shooting revolver and it sure was very impressive to watch this young lady shoot! 

My priorities were a bit skewed at this match. I wanted to shoot fast, I wanted to shoot accurate, I wanted to be awesome. With hardly any practice. Right…. It was more of a fantasy on my part, really. I was getting really frustrated because the harder I tied to hit A’s, the farther my shots were from it! My goal of not having a miss was not happening at this match as I collected 2 misses on one stage that had an option of shooting a 6-inch plate at about 30-35 yards. As that blue plate stared at me from the starting line, flashbacks of the billiard ball challenge from the first episode of Top Shot assaulted me. I glared back at the plate and swore I would hit it no matter what. Time to exorcise some Top Shot demons! The timer went off and I nailed the plate after three or four rounds. As I ran to the next shooting position, all I could think of was, ‘I beat the plate!!!’ as I hosed the wide-open targets in front of me. I ended up having 2 misses on wide open targets by the time I was done shooting that stage. I could feel that evil plate laughing at me as I signed my score sheet and hung my head in shame. The other miss that I had was on a prior stage on a hardcover. I technically hit the target but just not on the right spot. (Stage 1, DENIAL!!) 

I wasn’t expecting much after we finished shooting. I knew that there were a couple of really good female shooters shooting the next day so I didn’t even get my hopes up. Sure enough, I finished second to Kaci Cochran, fellow Limcat team member, who shot the match very well.

The Texas Open Championship was a few weeks away and I knew that I had to work on my accuracy and definitely rethink my priorities!

Many thanks to Stefan Wendland for the awesome pictures!

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