Look around next time you visit the firing range. You just may be sharing space with one of the most talented young men and women in shooting sports. Three amazing top guns; Cody Tucker, age 16, Tierani Hendrix, age 17, and Tori Nonaka, age 15, talk about their accomplishments, goals and passion for shooting. All three juniors have spent more time behind a pistol than the wheel of a car, yet already belong to the “Ed’s Public Safety Junior Team,” fire thousands of rounds annually, safely compete in handgun competitions and choose GLOCK as their #1 pistol. The next generation of practical shooting sports is here, and they are improving every day.
QUESTION: Hello Cody, Tierani and Tori. Thank you for taking the time to interview with us. Can you share some of your highlights and accomplishments with GLOCK from the 2010 practical shooting season?
Cody Tucker: Production Division continues to be my real strength. I won High Junior in Production at the Steel Challenge Georgia State Championship, Steel Challenge Nationals, USPSA Area 6 Championship and my first Steel Challenge World Championship all with a GLOCK 34. This season I was promoted to Master class in GLOCK Sport Shooting Foundation (GSSF) and won the Unlimited Division in my first match as a Master. I consider myself fortunate to be able to attend a week-long course at Rogers Shooting School this summer and finished at the top of my class. It was great to finally become a “sponsored shooter” and I would like to thank Ed’s Public Safety, Atlanta Arms and Ammo, Sevigny Performance and Chris’ Winning Shooting Accessories, LLC for their support.
Tierani Hendrix: I switched from a GLOCK 17 to a GLOCK 34 for competition. I won my first High Lady title at the International Defensive Pistol (IDPA) Summer Sizzler along with a 1st Place SSP Marksman finish. I then moved up in class and finished second SSP Sharpshooter in the IDPA US East Coast Championship. In the GSSF, I won High Junior Female at the Dawsonville, Georgia event. This year I began competing in the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) including my first area level events that have helped my shooting. I also won the IPSC National Production High Lady and Junior championship with a GLOCK 17 and IDPA Georgia State High Lady and High Junior with a GLOCK 34.
Tori Nonaka: I had another great season and won the Steel Challenge Nationals Super Junior.
At the NC State IDPA Ladies Champion, High Junior and 1st Place ESP Sharpshooter; USPSA VA/MD Sectional Ladies Production Champion; IDPA Virginia State Ladies Champion; IDPA Virginia State 1st Place ESP Expert; IDPA U.S. East Coast Ladies Champion and IDPA U.S. East Coast Junior Champion. I used a GLOCK 34 to win my titles. I finished up the season by winning the USPSA Junior Limited-10 National championship with a GLOCK 35.
Q: What are some of the best memories of your most recent season?
Cody Tucker: Spending the week with my friend and shooting partner Tierani Hendrix at the Rogers School and shooting several matches with her. We seem to both be at our best when we are shooting together. Also, I’ll never forget the day I spent training with Dave Sevigny the day before the Steel Challenge in California. I fired slightly over 1,400 rounds that day.
Tierani Hendrix: I got to meet Julie Goloski-Golob at Area 6 and Tori Nonaka at Area 8. Going to Rogers School in north Georgia and Universal Shooting Academy in Florida was a great new experience. Also, taking first place at our local indoor IDPA match because I started with that particular group of shooters at the bottom of the list then slowly worked my way to the top of the list. It was rewarding to see the personal growth I’ve made.
Tori Nonaka: Travelling all around the country for major matches to compete, meeting new people and making new friends. The IDPA Virginia State match is a great memory from the 2010 season. I ended up winning ESP Expert division by less than 1 second. Every stage and every shot was do or die which made for an exciting match. Having the opportunity to shoot with my friends Cody Tucker and Tierani Hendrix was a real treat. I enjoy meeting other juniors with similar goals and interests.
Q: You all have come a long way in a short period of time! Who are some of the most influential people for you?
Cody Tucker: My supportive parents! My daddy taught me to shoot and has always believed that I could go as far in the sport as I wanted to. I saw my dad meet Rob Leatham for the first time at the Steel Challenge Practice range in California. Daddy told Rob that he had followed his career since they were teenagers and that he was determined that if he ever had a son who wanted to compete he would do his best to provide him with the same opportunities that Rob had in the shooting sports. I’m glad that he has provided me with those opportunities. Dave Sevigny has kept an eye on me since my very first pistol match. He has always believed in me and supported me. It is an honor to hear other shooters say that I look like a “little Dave Sevigny” when I shoot, or that I may be “the next Dave Sevigny” with my GLOCK.
Tierani Hendrix: The list is very long. I have to first thank Mom and Dad for all they have done for me but I would have to say the people in this business that have influenced my shooting style and coached me the most are Dave Sevigny, Randi Rogers, Ronnie Dodd and Peter Oliver. I am very fortunate to have such talented people out there willing to help me, so I always try to do my best to pick up on everything that I can. Hopefully by the time I apply it all, I will have become a very skilled and well-rounded shooter.
Tori Nonaka: My father and mother Aaron and Michelle Nonaka have been the most influential and supportive to me. Others such as Billy Abbate, Dave Sevigny, Todd Jarrett and Phil Strader have been very helpful. Their training, support and mentorship have made all the difference. I would not be where I am today without their help.
Q: What advice do you have for other aspiring juniors who want to begin practical shooting?
Cody Tucker: Bill Rogers told us, “Be fast, be accurate, be the best!” and hearing Dave Sevigny tell me to “be patient and persistent and the big wins will come in time.” My advice for other aspiring juniors would be to watch your front sight, do not sacrifice accuracy for speed and most importantly, ALWAYS handle your gun safely and protect your eyes and ears!
Tierani Hendrix: “Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still,” which is a Chinese Proverb. This refers to shooting in the sense that it doesn’t matter how slowly your shooting advances as long as it is advancing. The best advice I have to offer is to set high goals and don’t stop till they are reached, try to find a shooting buddy and or shooting group, get involved with the sport, never be discouraged from a bad match—just look at it as a lesson for a future match, only shoot as fast as you can see your sights and be patient! Improvement does not happen overnight. The progress will show in time.
Tori Nonaka: I have come to realize that once I learn a new skill, it takes about 60 days for it to sink into the subconscious part of my shooting. So, I trained very hard during the winter. I knew what I needed to improve on and drilled extensively in dry fire. Then I reinforced it with live fire. This paid off in 2010 as I reached a new level of performance, moved up in class in both USPSA and IDPA and had wins in several major matches. Most importantly, I encourage everyone to learn how to safely handle and operate firearms and to give shooting a try. Especially the ladies and juniors out there!
Q: What are your goals for the 2011 shooting season?
Cody Tucker: (1) Make Master class in Production while I am still age 16, (2) Win an overall division championship at a major match; not just high in Junior category, (3) Compete mostly with the GLOCK pistols that have helped me win.
Tierani Hendrix: (1) Striving to understand stage breakdown and execution better, (2) Working to become more consistent during matches, (3) Moving up in class in both IDPA and in USPSA, (4) Win more titles and pick up more sponsors so that I can shoot even more next year.
Tori Nonaka: (1) Earn a spot on the women’s US IPSC team in 2011, (2) Be dedicated to my training schedule for the upcoming year and reach a new level in performance, (3) Set a good example and to represent my sponsors and supporters in a positive and professional manner, (4) Maintain my high grade point average while being away from school to train and compete, (5) Share my passion for the shooting sports and the second amendment with others.
Thank you all for sharing your experiences with the readers! We wish you the best in 2011.