Senior Kie Kababik at this week­end’s natonal com­pe­tition.
(Photo: Amanda Klug | Courtesy)

The Hillsdale College Shotgun Sports team earned its fifth con­sec­utive Division III national title last week. The team sent nine people to compete in San Antonio, Texas, in the Asso­ci­ation of College Unions Inter­na­tional Col­le­giate Clay Target Cham­pi­onships March 26 – 31.

“It’s incredibly stressful and a relief at the same time,” senior Emanuel Boyer said. “It’s sort of a marathon. You shoot at least one event every day.”

Seniors Jordan Hintz and Drew Lieske overcame the stress to earn All-American des­ig­na­tions, taking 16th and third place, respec­tively. This was Lieske’s fourth All-American title. All-Amer­icans are not divided into divi­sions, but rather earned by scoring the highest in the top 20 of all com­petitors, from all four divi­sions. The top 20 highest scores com­piled from all six events earn the All-American honor. More than 800 shooters com­peted.

Hintz and Lieske’s per­for­mances con­tributed to the team’s success. The team took first place in five of the six com­pe­ti­tions, with an almost perfect score of 493 points out of a pos­sible 500 in the American Skeet com­pe­tition. Lieske led the team in the sporting clays, super sporting, and inter­na­tional skeet com­pe­ti­tions. Hintz led the team in the inter­na­tional trap and American skeet com­pe­ti­tions. Senior Kie Kababik also led the team in the American trap com­pe­tition.

“I’ve made some of my best friends on the team and some great rela­tion­ships. Being a part of a team is some­thing I love, and being able to mix it with shooting is great,” Kababik said. “I’m glad I got to come to this college and do it.”

Boyer also com­peted this weekend, scoring 99 points out of a pos­sible 100 in the American skeet com­pe­tition. He said the biggest chal­lenge was having to maintain focus for seven hours a day, for six days.

“When you finish com­peting, you start prac­ticing for the next event,” Boyer said.

To stay focused during com­pe­tition, Boyer said he tries to dis­tract himself during breaks by telling jokes and talking with team­mates, while Hintz said he tries to remain focused for the entire day.

“I keep myself from getting dis­tracted by getting a song stuck in my head,” Hintz said. “The song changes, but during skeet it was ‘Location’ by Khalid.”

As indi­vidual as this sport may be, each shooter works together to encourage and help team­mates improve, the team members said.

“Being able to shoot as a team is a really tremendous expe­rience,” Boyer said. “This is one of the few times you actually get to shoot as a team.”