Whitehorse’s John Simmons has capped the year with a pair of wins.
The pistol shooter won the open division in a pair of International Practical Shooting Confederation B.C. qualifier events over the weekend in Pitt Meadows.
“I wanted to slow down and relax a bit, let my body and wrists recover – and my bank account,” said Simmons.
“Two first-place finishes to end the season is awesome. I can’t ask for a better finish. I don’t know what was in me, but I was really pushing.”
Simmons didn’t just win, he dominated. The master-level shooter placed first in 11 out of the 12 stages over the two days. His one slip-up was an eighth in Stage 2 on Sunday. “I just made some mistakes and got misses,” he said. “I was going too fast.”
Simmons was 13 per cent more accurate than the second-place finisher on Saturday and eight per cent more on Sunday at the IPSC competitions, in which speed and accuracy are measured as shooters move through an obstacle course.
The wins are his fourth and fifth qualifier wins in 2015, though the points will go towards next season.
“I needed those points – they all count for 2016, so I start 2016 out with two first place finishes,” said Simmons. “I just felt really good, really calm, just really focused.”
All in all, Simmons had a pretty successful year. After pocketing qualifier wins to start the season, Simmons won the USPSA Sectional Alaska State Championship – using the U.S.‘s version of IPSC – outside of Fairbanks in July.
Last month he placed third in the open division at the 2015 IPSC B.C. Provincial Championships in Nanaimo, up from his previous best of fourth last year.
Simmons’ 2015 season had just one bump in the road: the Canadian championships. At nationals an early error proved costly. Simmons failed to engage two targets in the first stage – just went by without even shooting at them – and was playing catch-up for the rest of the championship. He ended up placing 21st in open, down from fifth last year.
“I had a little stumble at nationals, but it’s not big deal. I’m still ranked high enough I still have a spot at World Shoot in France for 2017,” said Simmons, who is ranked third in B.C. and 13th in Canada.
The six-time Yukon steel-shooting champion competed at his first world championship last October. At the triennial IPSC World Shoot Simmons placed 162nd out of 367 shooters in the open division and sixth out of 25 Canadians.
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