The summer of 2018 was very rewarding and exciting for me as I was able to compete in two key tournaments. The first event was the Washington State Championships, in Renton, WA. This event was held over two days with more than 200 targets. I trained for this event for over two weeks on my MEC International wobble trap and felt that I had everything I needed for the event. I arrived feeling very confident. The second event was the Team USA Selection in Kerrville, Texas. Things didn't go as well there as I had planned, but I really learned a lot.
Washington State Championships
The first day was a perfect July day; not too hot and not too windy. I was shooting my Perazzi MX8 and International shells (24gr-1325fps) and the targets seemed to be very slow. In most cases, I would have told myself that I needed to slow myself down, so I didn’t get too excited and jump at targets. Instead, I told myself that because the targets seemed slow, it was a really good thing because it allowed me to see (and shoot) them well. I finished the first day in 2nd place by one target. I had really solid scores and plenty of energy as well as confidence for day two. The weather for day two was very similar to day one and lots of great shooters made an appearance. After shooting 100 targets, I found myself entering the finals with a 6-target lead. However, I couldn't take my lead with me because when you enter a final the slate is wiped clean, granting every shooter equal scores. As the 50 target final progressed, shooters were eliminated one-by-one. I continued to shoot well and found myself tied for first place with 15 targets to go. I was able to keep a calm demeanor and shot 14/15 of the final targets and sealed the Gold Title enabling me to become a two-time Washington State Champion! I was very thankful that not only did I have a GREAT day of shooting, but I was equally thankful that my family was able to attend the Washington State Championship and witness me win my second Washington State Champion Title!
Team USA Selection in Kerrville, Texas
The Washington State Championships were held three weeks before a team USA selection match in Kerrville, Texas, which I was also able to attend. I knew the weather in Texas would be very warm so I arrived at the range two days before the competition began so I could get acclimated to the heat and humidity of Texas and get some practice time in. One of the major challenges at Kerrville is that each bunker is significantly different than the other making it very difficult to maximize consistency in your shooting scores. Unfortunately, I didn’t do too well in my shooting and left Kerrville disappointed with much lower scores than my average. Although I was disappointed with my shooting performance in Kernville, it was a real learning experience for me. I left with newfound knowledge to assist me in future shoots on how to adjust my shooting in order to alleviate frustrating situations like the one I experienced in Texas. I recently started a new job that is affording me more time to train (with weekends off) and my eyes are set on the 2019 Spring Selection match in Colorado Springs, Colorado! Thank you again for your support and I will be in touch soon with another update. Tucker Simpson