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Simmons nails 22nd at nationals

A good night's sleep is vital to performing at the top of one's ability in any sport. Just ask John Simmons.

A good night’s sleep is vital to performing at the top of one’s ability in any sport. Just ask John Simmons.

The Whitehorse pistol shooter had a bout of insomnia over the weekend during the 2012 IPSC Canadian National Championship in Brandon, Manitoba.

If that wasn’t bad enough, lengthy rain delays compounded the problem.

“I should have done better than that but sleep deprivation was taking its toll,” said Simmons. “I just couldn’t sleep. Period. Too much thinking, rain delays, shooting times pushed back, more time to do nothing.

“I’m not happy about it. I know I should have done better.”

Despite all that, Simmons still managed to finish 22nd out of 68 shooters in the open division of the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) competition.

With the quadrennial IPSC world championships a couple of summers away, Simmons also had a larger field to contend with. About 300 shooters participated in the weekend’s event.

“The amount of people in the open division this year was significant because there are so many people who want slots for the worlds,” said Simmons. “People are pushing. They want those slots, so they’re coming out of the woodwork.”

Even though his 22nd-place finish is three spots higher than his result from last year, Simmons had good reason to hope for better.

So far this season, while competing at IPSC B.C. qualifying events, Simmons has consistently taken top-three finishes and has moved from B division, to A division, to master class.

He is currently ranked second in B.C. for master level shooters.

Besides, he might have to do better if he wants to get to the 2014 world championships, being held in Florida.

“I’m definitely going to have to do well next year in Dalhousie to get considered,” said Simmons. “I’m really going to have to amp it up for next year’s nationals. I’ll go in there with a different attitude and mentality and will figure out how to get myself asleep.”

The Whitehorse pistol shooter made his third-consecutive appearance at the Alaska Steel Shooting Championships near Fairbanks in June. The six-time Yukon steel-shooting champion shot his way to second in the open category and third overall at the competition.

He will be back in action at the IPSC B.C. Provincial Championships at the start of September.

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