This past weekend Tommy & Alexis participated in the Texas State Steel Challenge Championship in Corpus Christi. It was really fun and they had a fantastic time. I always enjoy going to weekend shoots with them (it’s my 3rd or 4th) and it lets me see them doing what they love!
We made a pit stop on the way down to Corpus Christi to visit a college that Alexis was interested in having on her choice of “backup” schools. We set up a tour and was shown around by the admissions representative (aka student on workstudy). Unfortunately we were pretty disappointed in what the school had to offer and the small town that surrounds it. Needless to say it’s been removed from our list of backup choices in the event she doesn’t get in to her first choice. Oh well – that’s what college tours are for, right?
The fun starts here!! Early Saturday morning we got up and got some food in us to ready the shooters for the big day. No health food this weekend, unfortunately.
We love the Mexican Food in Corpus and there are very few places where you can get tortillas as good as you can get here. When the tortillas can double as pillows (that soft and thick) you kind of just go for it. It’s not a regular thing.
We got to the range and they started shooting kind of late. We were with a small group from Austin and they were a lot of fun! They are picture takers and documenters as much as I am (maybe moreso?) so they had their cameras out there videotaping every shot and movement. I can’t wait to see what they create with that!
Shoot shoot shoot! Tommy was having a great time as was Alexis. On the first day (Saturday) Tommy shot a gun that he had never shot before – that boy has guts. He did really well with it too! Iron sights (no dots or aids) are very difficult but he shot like he had been shooting that gun forever.
Alexis shot the .22 that she won last year from the World Speed Shoot in California. It’s a very shooting friendly gun and it’s got her some stellar scores in the past. She was hoping this time wouldn’t disappoint either!
You might be wondering what exactly it is that they shoot? Why different guns, etc? I’ll give you the layman’s (nonshooter) version of the rules. With this sport (Steel Challenge) there are steel plates of varying sizes set up downrange. You are timed by how fast you can shoot all of the plates. Some stages have a “stop plate” and that is the target that you have to hit last. If you hit it before you are finished with the other plates you get a penalty and you must hit all plates.
Each stage is set up differently and with different style plates set up at different distances. Some are circular plates and very small and some are huge and rectangular – it just depends. There is one stage that also has movement within the stage and you have to move from one box to another – it’s tricky. Every shooter shoots these differently but they are all timed together and the one that shoots it the fastest – wins!
Here is what a state looks like from a good view:
That was Tommy from a match last month. Cool, right? Anyway – back to our weekend.
There is a lot to do and get ready for especially when everyone was shooting multiple guns this weekend. There were only 50-some shooters but over 80 guns were shot. It made for a couple of very long days.
I made myself comfortable in the shade on most stages while they worked their magic. I would record Tommy & Ali with the iPhone on each of their stages but mostly I was just there for comic relief and moral support. 🙂
On Saturday both Tommy & Alexis shot 8 stages with one gun. We got finished at about 4:30pm and then we loaded it up to go back to the hotel and grab some coffee (finally) – and eventually dinner.
We met up with the rest of the group that came down from Austin and went out to our absolute favorite place in Corpus Christi to eat seafood – Snoopy’s.
Snoopy’s fishes their mahi mahi (or other white fish of the day) directly from the bay and serves it as fresh as you can get it! Right out of the water…. It’s amazingly good and their batter is divine. I’ve never gotten anything else from Snoopy’s and I probably never will. This food is too good to mess with!
After dinner we separated from the group and met up with a couple of local friends for a drink or two. We haven’t seen them in eons and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them – if only for a little while – while were in town.
Wow, it was really hard to get up at 6:15am on this day. Day two of a two day shoot is always painful. We were out of the hotel by 7, had breakfast (same as above, don’t judge) and were at the range by 8:15. On this day Tommy was shooting two guns – his open gun which he has the most practice with and Alexis’ .22 that she shot the day before. Alexis was shooting just one gun – her open gun. See below.
How adorable (and scary?) is she? Just love her!
They shot really well and the day went by pretty fast. They shot 5 stages before lunch and then 3 stages after lunch. They were doing amazingly well and the guns were running perfect with no jams or mishaps with ammo.
There was a guy on their squad who had an ammo problem and ended up really hurting his gun. He was fine, thank goodness, but his gun is a little worse for wear. This happened pretty early in the day so he was just a spectator for the rest of the day. Major bummer.
At one point (after this picture above was taken) the news made it’s way out to where we were shooting and started filming Tommy & Alexis and a couple of the other shooters that we were with.
The footage was used for the news that evening – super cool and fun to see this sport being spotlighted on the evening news. Good for them! (click link for video)
They had awards and Tommy walked away with 3 including 2nd place in Steel Master which meant that his combined scores for his 3 guns was second best in the whole match! The guy all the way on the left got first for that – and a new gun to show for his good score.
They didn’t have a junior division for Alexis. However, she did very well with the big boys though – she came in 6th place in both divisions that she shot in. In addition to that – she improved upon her time from her last big match by over 10 seconds! That’s huge!
We had a great time and will definitely be back down to Corpus for this match next year if the schedule allows it. It was well ran and everyone was really fun to be with. I’m so proud of my family – they did very well but above all they were wonderful sportsman and friendly competitors.
Way to go, guys!