Whitehorse shooter pegs off 2nd at B.C. qualifier

Whitehorse marksman John Simmons began his competitive season on target - and fast. Let's not forget fast.

Whitehorse marksman John Simmons began his competitive season on target – and fast. Let’s not forget fast.

The pistol shooter placed second in back-to-back speed shooting competitions at an International Practical Shooting Confederation B.C. qualifier in Terrace, B.C., over the weekend.

“I’m pretty happy with it,” said Simmons. “I know, versus last year, I’m significantly higher in my overall results. I know it was close (between first and second place) so I’m happy with that.”

Simmons finished second at the same qualifier event last year.

In what was his first competition of the season, Simmons finished just a few percentage points behind the winner both days in the open division over the weekend. (Official accuracy percentages were not available by time of press.)

“I’m pretty happy with Terrace, I did really well,” said Simmons. “It was wet; the weather wasn’t good. But the stages and the designs the Terrace club put on were really well done and well organized this year. Everything went really smoothly, no one got disqualified.”

The summer will be his busiest to date, and it’s following his most successful yet.

The six-time Yukon steel-shooting champion captured his first trophy last September at the IPSC B.C. Provincial Championship in Port Coquitlam. Simmons shot his way to second place in the open B division and 13th overall.

At the IPSC Canadian National Championships in Kingston, Ont., last July, Simmons came 25th out of more than 65 of the country’s best in the open category. Breaking into the top-30 was no simple feat. Seven provinces entered “gold teams” of their top four practical shooters, plus there were two professional shooters from the U.S. and Czech Republic. (Simmons was the only Yukoner at the championships that hosted about 250 shooters.)

Simmons plans to attend both of those competitions, a couple more B.C. qualifiers, and the Alaska Speed Shooting Championships, a competition in which he’s picked up the nickname, The Canadian.

“I want to increase my qualifiers … because I want to get better at IPSC,” said Simmons. “I want to start learning, get a better ranking, and to do that I have to start shooting more down south.

“I’m basically shooting somewhere every month for the next six months.”

At the Alaska championships last year, Simmons took first place in the open division and a second in the shoot-off division, the reverse of his results the previous year.

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