2016 Wisconsin Sectional

First match since September 2015.  Going to be honest I was a bit nervous leading up to the match, so much so that I drank a couple of beers the night before to help me sleep and I very rarely drink.  Also the fact I was squadded with a couple GM Production division shooters, and 2 Master class Open shooters which I was worried that I would be watching them and trying to shoot to their tempo.

I arrived on Saturday around 1230 and went straight to the range and took a look at all the stages, and came up with a basic plan for each stage.  I only stuck around for about an hour, as I had been up since 2am and felt a bit tired from the drive and lack of sleep I just couldn’t focus well.  I drove back into Eau Claire and found a cigar shop that had a couple of sticks that I had been looking for.  I then went to my hotel and checked in and took a few minutes to just relax a bit.  I ran a couple more errands and fueled up the pickup, and headed back out to the range.  Did another couple hours of checking out the stages and smoking stogies.  Felt more comfortable with the stages, so I checked in for the match and then drove back to Eau Claire.  I picked up some chinese food for dinner and headed back to the hotel to watch the Capitals/Penguins playoff game and relax.  I didn’t make it through the third period, or the third beer, I was off to sleeply land.

Woke up the next morning and grabbed a bagel and an apple pastry.  Checked out of the hotel and headed back to the range.

Stage 7 – Lodgepole Pine   Stage 7
21 – A
3 – C
3 – M
1 – No shoot
2/2 steel
24.67 seconds
3.5266 hit factor
36th out of 53 in Production division
111th out of 148 Overall

Welcome to the suck!  Good stage plan, poor execution.  Second shooter and right after Alex Gutt.  I was extremely nervous.  Didn’t focus on my sights enough, and I didn’t call my shots.  I did call the no shoot so I made it up, but when I made it up I only shot one of the targets in the array once instead of twice.  Also shot the hard cover in the mover and didn’t call it and make it up.  So in short, first stage of the year, and first match of the year I tanked it.  But I have gotten way better about letting it go, so on to the next stage.

Stage 8 – Bristlecone PineStage 8
11 – A
2 – C
1/1 steel
15.94 seconds
3.8269 hit factor
6th out of 53 in Production division
25th out of 148 Overall

Shot it a bit faster the first time, but with worse hits.  Got a reshoot as the popper didn’t fall and I called for calibration.  Popper gods were good to me!  .2 slower on the second go, but much better hits.

Stage 9 – Sugar PineStage 9
26 – A
3 – C
1 – D
2/2 steel
24.04 seconds
6.2396 hit factor
4th out of 53 in Production division
13th out of 148 Overall

Good stage for me, with a good stage plan, and solid execution.  A little slower than I would have liked, but happy with it.  1 D hit, I have to clean those up.

Stage 10 – Pitch PineStage 10
9 – A
6 – C
5 – D
3/3 steel
21.97 seconds
3.7779 hit factor
11th out of 53 in Production division
40th out of 148 Overall

Stage plan was good, swingers were slow, and plenty of time to shoot something else while waiting for them to activate.  I need more practice with swingers!  They were the majority of my D hits.  While my stage plan was good, my execution was not.  I almost forgot a target and had to go back a few steps to get it which added about 2 seconds to my time.  I had it programmed, but my brain just forgot it.

Stage 1 – Virginia PineStage 1
6 – A
4 – C
12.51 seconds
3.3573 hit factor
7th out of 53 in Production Division
29th out of 148 overall

Grab rope with weak hand, and shoot all 5 targets with 1 round each, reload and do it again.  Wasn’t bad, but after seeing Casey Reed’s video I can see what I could have improved upon to speed up my reload which would have reduced the time nicely.

Stage 2 – Ponderosa PineStage 2
16 – A
6 – C
4/4 steel
22.90 seconds
5.1528 hit factor
10th out of 53 in Production Division
29th out of 148 overall

Truth be told I don’t remember much about this stage as it went as it should.  A bit slower than I would have liked but decent.

Stage 3 – White PineStage 3
25 – A
3 – C
2 – D
1 – No Shoot
2/2 steel
29.87 seconds
4.5531 hit factor
18th out of 53 in Production Division
64th out of 148 overall

Poor stage plan, much slower than what others shot it with.  I should have done what Alex Gutt did, but I didn’t have time to reprogram.  I called the no shoot, and made it up.  This stage proved to me that sometimes there really is a wrong way to shoot a stage!

Stage 4 – Jack PineStage 416 – A
3 – C
1 – M
5/5 steel
24.93 seconds
4.1417 hit factor
13th out of 53 in Production Division
62nd out of 148 overall

All mags on the table and unloaded gun start.  Everything was great until I tried to stuff a magazine in the pouch for a later reload and it didn’t want to go in.  Finally got it in and shot the next array where I picked up a mike on a target with hard cover.  I didn’t hit the hard cover and I didn’t see any other holes, so either I had the most perfect double or I missed.  I know I called it in the A zone, but there was no way to call it a double, so a miss.  Oh well.

Stage 5 – Scotch PineStage 523 – A
1 – C
2 – D
3/3 steel
27.53 seconds
4.9037 hit factor
2nd out of 53 in Production Division
19th out of 148 overall

I followed Alex Gutt around during the walkthrough and stole his stage plan.  He was much faster, but ran out of ammo on the last array after shooting a couple make ups on the steel mini popper, so I just did an extra reload before that array.  Worked to my advantage, as it was my best stage of the day.

Stage 6 – Yellow PineStage 6
17 – A
2 – C
1 – D
11/11 steel
28.30 seconds
5.1943 hit factor
5th out of 53 in Production Division
19th out of 148 overall

Last stage of the day.  I could have been a bit quicker out of position on the second array, and ran a bit faster.  But it was some really thick sand down the middle, and even with cleats I was having difficulty moving as quickly as I would have liked.  A couple more make up shots on the texas star than I should have needed as I wasn’t watching the sights just blasting away.

Final thoughts
1st place A class – My first trophy from a USPSA match
7th place Production division

IMG_0882

My movement was much better than last year, dropping weight definitely helped as has my footwork training.  Reloads were decent, draws a bit sloppy, and after the first stage my accuracy improved.  I need to work on shooting less D’s and M’s but all in all a decent first match for me. Can’t wait for the super classifier on May 15th in Sioux Falls.

I really liked shooting with Alex Gutt, James DeLambert and the Greenfields.  Helps me see better stage plans, and how to execute them at a higher speed.

If I wouldn’t have had the no shoot on stage 7 and the misses would have been C’s, I would have beaten the two Master class guys above me and gotten 5th place.  Stupid first stage, first match jitters!  I should probably continue to work on my mental game and my stage planning!

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