At just 12 and 13 years old, Justine and Jalise Williams are making a splash in the competitive shooting world. SSUSA readers will remember when we visited the talented junior shooters earlier this year in Louisville, KY, at the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits.
At this year'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 the Single-Stack Division.
Sixteen months apart in age, the Williams sisters share a common passion for competitive shooting—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 said about her single-stack pistol, "From day one, I wanted a single stack. That's one reason my first pistol was the Springfield XD(M), 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."
Over 400 competitors attended the USPSA Area 1 Championships at the Lee Kay Public Shooting Center near Salt Lake City, UT in May. Hosted by the Salt Lake Practical Shooters Association and sponsored by Berry's Manufacturing, the event included 16 grueling stages.
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 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, NE.