Youngest Springfield Armory Shooters Make Big Showing At Berry’s USPSA Area 1 Championships
At just 12 and 13 years old, Justine and Jalise Williams are making a splash in the competitive shooting world.
At the recent Berry’s USPSA Area 1 Championships, Justine Williams claimed the High Lady prize and top B class honors in the Production Division. Older sister Jalise earned High Junior and top B class shooter in Single-Stack Division.
Just 16 months apart in age, the sisters share a common passion for competitive shooting sports but have chosen slightly different paths in the USPSA world. Justine prefers shooting her Springfield Armory® XD(M) 5.25 Competition Model in USPSA Production Division. Jalise competes with her Springfield Armory® 1911 A-1 Professional 9mm in Single-Stack Division.
Jalise Williams comments on her decision to shoot a single-stack pistol, “From day one, I wanted a single stack. That’s one reason my first pistol was the Springfield XDM, because it was the closest ‘feel’ I could get to a 1911, until I could actually get one. Shooting Single-Stack takes a lot of discipline and has been said to be a very tough division, which is also why I chose it. I enjoy the challenge and dedication that is required.”
The Berry’s USPSA Area 1 Championships took place at the Lee Kay Public Shooting Center outside of Salt Lake City, Utah May 11 through 15, 2016. Hosted by the Salt Lake Practical Shooters Association and sponsored by bullet maker Berry’s Manufacturing, the event followed a two-day format and included 16 grueling stages. Over 400 competitors faced the course with its 375 shot minimum round count, so the sisters faced plenty of experienced competitors.
While running, gunning, and engaging a wide variety of targets like steel poppers, swingers and metric paper may sound chaotic, planning and mental focus rule the day. With an average minimum round count per stage exceeding 23, competitors must carefully plan and execute every shot, movement, and reload.
According to Justine, “I look at the stage and I come up with a rough plan. I then walk it over a couple of times and go back and try to relax until it’s almost my turn.”
The importance of mental focus isn’t lost on the Williams sisters. Both straight A students, they are well accustomed to hard work in the preparation stage. While their hobby preferences vary, Jalise prefers reading and writing while Justine opts for dance and gymnastics, both sisters have earned Black Belts in Karate and are accomplished piano players.
Coached by Glen Wong and mentored by Team Springfield Captain and Pro Shooter Rob Leatham, the girls have a big future on the competitive shooting circuit. They’re currently hard at work training for the upcoming 2016 USPSA Hornady Area 3 Championships scheduled to take place July 28-31, 2016 in Grand Island, Nebraska.
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)® and XD-S® polymer pistols.