GENESEO, IL – Springfield Armory® is proud to announce top finishes in both Junior and Senior Divisions at the 2017 USPSA Single Stack National Championships. Team Springfield™ Captain Rob Leatham claimed his ninth National Championship title in the Senior Division since qualifying in 2016. The team’s youngest competitors, Justine and Jalise Williams, earned first and second places respectively in the Junior Division.
Junior Champion Justine Williams shared her experience. “The Single Stack Nationals was a great match experience for me – the stages were challenging, my squad was fun, and the Range Officers were professional and friendly. I was so very excited to have won my first Junior National Championship title, while also finishing fourth among the women. This was a very competitive match, and I look forward to the challenge each year. I feel that I also learned a valuable lesson at this match – that I shoot better when I am having fun.”
Held at PASA Park in Barry, Illinois, May 17 – 20, 2017, the USPSA Single Stack National Championship attracted 340 competitors from across the country. The 15-stage event tested shooters’ ability with an overall round count of 327.
Rob Leatham offered his perspective on the match. “Pistol shooting at the highest level has never been more competitive! Kids almost one-third my age, competitors whose skills are sharper than ever, mark the new age of Practical Shooting. Champions like Jacob Hetherington, Nils Jonasson, Dave Sevigny and Phil Strader, among many others, are shooting faster and more accurately than any generation before them. To be able to compete and battle in a top-tier event like the USPSA Single Stack Nationals almost four decades after I began just drives home the point that this kind of shooting is accessible to anyone. I can’t move like the youngsters do or see as I could when I was 20, but dang, I still love to compete.”
Leatham placed ninth overall at the event while shooting his Springfield Armory® Custom™ 1911 chambered in .40 caliber. The Williams sisters placed fourth and fifth among all women shooters at the event. Both Jalise and Justine chose to compete with their Springfield Armory® Custom™ 1911 pistols chambered in 9mm.
According to coach Glen Wong, “Jalise and Justine had a rough start to the match, but they managed to turn it around and finish strong. Little did we know that they were positioning themselves for first and second places in Junior Division. In the end, the two were only separated by 2.81 points out of 1,500 total match points. As their coach, I am extremely proud of what these two ladies have accomplished in such a short time, and how much they have grown as athletes and ambassadors to our sport.”
Second place Junior and fifth place Lady Jalise Williams noted, “The match was difficult, but it should be at a national level. This year, the stages were very different. We had 15 courses of fire, and there was a lot more movement, so speed was important. Last year I did not shoot very well, so this year I was happy to have turned it around and shot a good match – I didn’t have a single penalty! I believe that when you have a bad stage or a bad match, you have to get back up and move on, and I’m happy I was able to do this. Finishing second Junior and fifth Lady, right behind my sister, was very rewarding!”
Springfield Armory® congratulates our most experienced and newest team members on their podium finishes at the 2017 USPSA Single Stack Championships. Thirty-year competition veteran Rob Leatham continues to do a fantastic job of helping the next generation of competitive shooters represent not only the company but the shooting community at large.
About Springfield Armory®
“The First Name in American Firearms,” Springfield Armory® was founded in 1777, when George Washington ordered the creation of an armory to store ammunition and gun carriages during the American Revolution. In 1794, the armory began to manufacture muskets and spent the next 150 years supplying firearms for every major American conflict. The original armory closed in 1968. In 1974, the Reese family took ownership of the Springfield Armory® name and began making the M1A™ rifle. Today, Springfield Armory® develops many products loyal to the company’s heritage, like the 1911 pistol, while ensuring its future with innovative products, including the XD®, XD® Mod.2®, XD(M)®, XD-S®, and XD-E™ polymer pistols and now the new SAINT™ AR-15 rifle.
Stefany Reese, Public Relations and Communications Manager
Springfield Armory, Inc.