The Williams sisters from Southern Utah are among the top shooters in the world. Jalise, age 12 and Justine, age 10 are practical pistol and 3-gun shooters who compete at the state, national, and international level. They are moving up the ranks in USPSA and have won and placed between 1st and 4th in many high level competitions in D Class and C Class Production. They recently participated in some major 3-gun competitions where they demonstrated that they could shoot with the best. It isn’t just the impressive shooting that makes them successful but also their spirit, skills, and accomplishments.
Jalise and Justine have grown up in St. George, Utah where they have excelled in school, are accomplished piano players, and earned their black belts in Karate. While growing up, they also learned to hunt and shoot rifles and shotguns. Their father has been taking them hunting since before they could walk. He had to tote the diaper bag alongside his hunting gear. While most kids first learn to shoot a .22, the girls’ first gun was a .357 rifle. They then progressed to an AR-15 and 20-gauge shotgun.
When Jalise was 10 and Justine was 9, their mother took them to “Ladies Night” at the Southern Utah Practical Shooting Range, where they had the opportunity to shoot .22 pistols. They immediately loved pistol shooting and wanted 9mm handguns. However, their father was against it and like most parents, did not believe young children should be shooting 9mm pistols. After only a month of training at the range, the girls were ready to show their father how competent they were with a pistol. They took their dad to the “Tuesday Night Steel” in hopes of changing his mind. Their dad was convinced that he would put an end to the pistol nonsense once and for all. However, after watching the girls shoot, he not only approved but he now shoots competitions with them.
After only nine months of competition, the sisters wanted to shoot a 3-gun match called “Hard as Hell”. This is not your average 3-gun match, but rather one that tests your physical and psychological strength as an athlete. Their parents would not let the girls sign up because it was such a grueling competition. Ken Nelson, the match director, contacted the parents directly and asked why Jalise and Justine were not signed up for the match. Ken convinced the parents that the girls were ready and they agreed to allow them to compete. They were still certain the girls would be unable to keep up with the full-grown competitors, especially the military personnel. After the first day, seeing many grown men drop out of the competition, they were sure the girls would be unable to continue. However, the sisters continued to demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment. At the end of three days, these young guns not only completed the competition that many adults had dropped out of but they also beat many of the remaining competitors.
More recently, the girls competed in a USPSA tournament in Jamaica. After the competition, the Jamaican team was so impressed with the girls’ shooting and demeanor that they sponsored the sisters, paying for the whole family to travel to and attend the Jamaica Invitational Pistol Tournament. The girls once again rose to the challenge and Justine won 1st place Junior and High Lady in Production. Jalise went head to head with the top shooter in the world in a shoot off. She impressed everyone by not only keeping up with him, but by almost defeating him on the last run.
Jalise and Justine are now sponsored shooters that frequently shoot USPSA and 3-Gun matches nationally and internationally. They shoot for the Berry’s Manufacturing Team and are sponsored with XCR-L Robinson Armament Rifles. PK Real Estate Utah, Dillon Precision, Tac-Tec-Cal Holsters, House of Hearing, TPC, MGM Targets, and Weapon Shield also sponsor them.
Although they are young and small, these two girls have demonstrated that kids, with the proper training, can be safe and responsible with firearms. Overall, this sport belongs to adults with whom the girls mainly compete. There are few juniors that compete and most are in their upper teens. Unlike these other young competitors, Jalise and Justine are already professional shooters. So the question is, where will they be at age 15? As the sky does not even seem to be the limit for the Williams sisters, you’ll want to keep an eye on these two as they continue to bust every myth and stereotype about young women.
If you are interested in following these two young ladies adventures, you can find them on Facebook or YouTube by searching Jalise & Justine Williams.