It was one of those perfect days, you know, the type that started slow and foggy and turned into a beautiful, sunny, California morning. And it was a perfect day, I decided. April 23, 2011, the ICORE Southwest Regional Match.
After arriving at the range and signing in, I was scanning the crowd for anyone I recognized, which was plenty of. Those who weren’t busily working on their guns would give a head nod and a “Hey, Molly.” There were a few new faces scattered throughout the group and I was eager to meet them.
Junior shooters from San Joaquin Valley, Jordan and Craig, came all the way to Morro Bay just to watch! It was great to be able to talk to them about competitions and shooting this match. I told them how I won my Smith & Wesson 627 at my very first IRC, coming in second to last. I was thrilled to see two juniors as eager to shoot as I was when I first started!
I found my squad which had its fair share of great shooters, including John Bagakis and Rich Wolf, just topping off this funny squad! There were plenty of laughter and storytelling. We were starting on a standard, field-course type stage, my favorite type to start on. I was one of the first shooters, and shooting all A shots (“A” being the center of the target and not adding any extra time) really makes you confident for the rest of the day.
We had several fun and interesting stages. On one, the shooter either had to go prone or shoot from a box off to the side, taking a five second penalty. I really liked this stage. For one, as most of you who follow my blog will know going prone started as a weakness for me but is now one of my favorite ways to shoot. I had never gone prone with a running start, I didn’t anticipate flying forward as fast as I did, which made it even more fun even with the face-plant! I was really happy to see a stage like this, a relief after having to look into ports a bit too high up for me and leaning over too wide of walls. That stage got even better when I ran to see my long distance shots were all “A” shots again!
I got to watch and listen to so many of the pros throughout the day. It was fantastic to not only watch them but learn from them as well. They are always willing to talk to any learning shooter. John Bagakis and I talked strategy a few times for the different stages and he brought certain aspects to my attention, like not to break the 180 rule at certain spots, or even to simply focus harder!
Congratulations to all the participants!! The Southwest Regional was a fantastic match!