Shooter Jessie Abbate Edges Out Francisco for Lady’s Open Win
SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. –-(Ammoland.com)- In what is sure to be a preview of October’s USPSA Nationals, Jessie Abbate of McDonough, Ga. narrowly edged out the reigning national champ, Megan Francisco of Gainesville, Va., to take the Lady’s Open division title at the U.S. Practical Shooting Association’s (USPSA) 2010 TechWear USA Area 8 Regional Handgun Championship this past weekend at the Fredericksburg Rod and Gun Club in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
The match, which also included Rebecca Jones, the 2008 national champion in the Open division, was the closest of any of the division battles at the Area 8 event with all three women winning stage titles.
Francisco took the early lead by winning the first stage and through strong, consistent shooting held the lead through the eighth stage despite giving up three stage wins to Jones and two to Abbate.
Abbate’s win on the seventh stage would be the first of three consecutive wins which proved to be the turning point in the match as she overtook Francisco after the ninth stage.
Going into the tenth and final stage Abbate held a slight lead of 3.8406 over Francisco. The reigning national champion outgunned Abbate by 3.5342 points but fell short of overtaking the winner by a mere 0.3064.
Abbate won the match with a score of 790.8709 to Francisco’s second place 790.5645. Jones, who won the final stage to close the gap with Abbate to 14+ points, finished the match with a score of 775.9025.
“The women’s Open match-up was one of the best of the Area 8 Championship with three extremely talented shooters, each of which could take the national title later this fall,” said Michael Voigt, president of the U.S. Practical Shooting Association.
“I congratulate Jessie on a well fought victory and look forward to seeing her, as well as Megan and Rebecca, compete in Las Vegas.”
Rounding out the top five in the women’s contest were Kaci Cochran of Stockbridge, Ga. in fourth with 641.9435 and Kelsey Price of Charlotte, N.C. in fifth with 607.4788.
In the men’s Open event, Team Sig Sauer’s Max Michel of Covington, La. continued his regional win streak with his seventh Area championship win of the season. Michel posted the top score of 1067.5632.
Nicholas Neel of Plano, Texas won the Junior Open title and finished eighth overall with 913.6272.
The Senior Open title went to Jim Hand of Collegeville, Pa. who shot 747.1390 while the Super Senior title went to fellow Keystone stater James Chestnut of Philadelphia with a score of 635.8497.
The TechWear USA Area 8 Championship drew 278 top competition shooters. It is one of the eight USPSA shooting regions in the country and is made up of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The run-and-gun sport of practical shooting was formally established in 1976 but traces its roots back to the 1950’s and the quick draw “leather slap” competitions that grew out of America’s love affair with the TV westerns of that era.
Today the sport represents the upper echelon of the shooting sports with many of its top shooters actively training law enforcement and military units on shooting techniques and equipment developed in competition.
The next major pistol competition on the USPSA calendar is the 2010 USPSA Handgun National Championships scheduled for October 8 through 16 in Las Vegas, Nev. For more information, visit www.USPSA.org or follow @USPSA_Shooting on Twitter.
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen’s organizations that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. Visit www.ussportsmen.org.