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A sports shooter at the Junior Olympic Skeet Camp at the Halter Shooting Sports Edu­cation Center in June. Courtesy | Sara Gillett

This part­nership has made it pos­sible for the college to begin expanding its shooting pro­grams and facil­ities. This expansion includes the building of new ranges at the John Anthony Halter Shooting Sports Center. 

The biggest project, an $8 million range equipped for air rifle, air pistol, and archery, is still awaiting funding and does not yet have an esti­mated com­pletion date. 

Once it is built, it will not only allow Hillsdale stu­dents to train alongside Olympic ath­letes, but will also bring both national and inter­na­tional cham­pi­onships to Hillsdale.

Over the course of the year we will have the U.S. team and even more Olympic hopefuls out here training,” Hillsdale graduate Jordan Hintz ’18, a three-time All-American while a member of the college’s shotgun team, and the current head coach, said. 

Bart Spieth, the Halter Center Range­master who led the college’s shotgun team to its first national cham­pi­onship in 2012, said that one day 60 – 80 coun­tries could be sending teams to par­tic­ipate in World Cup cham­pi­onships here at Hillsdale.

“We will run some elite events and elite training out of that facility,” he said.

The first of those tour­na­ments is about to begin as the Halter Center pre­pares for the USA Open National Cham­pi­onships for skeet and bunker, which will take place at the range from Sept. 8 – 19. 

Senior Mary Brox, pres­ident of the new Hillsdale Olympic-Style Rifle and Pistol Club and a com­petitor herself, said she hopes even more Hillsdale stu­dents will get involved with shooting sports and clubs. 

“We hope to include stu­dents who would like to compete,” Brox said, “as well as stu­dents who want to enjoy the sport and grow in their shooting skills.” 

Spieth said he sees a lot of par­allels between the goals of USA Shooting and Hillsdale College. 

“We are like-minded people,” he said. “For the most part, having the same goals of wanting our future gen­er­a­tions to under­stand and appre­ciate the her­itage that we have with shooting sports and how that equips you to be able to protect yourself, your family, and your property.” 

Spieth said he does not want these oppor­tu­nities to be limited to Hillsdale stu­dents. Instead, he hopes that local and regional youth will also take this as a chance to use the resources Hillsdale is offering to pursue their Olympic dreams. 

“We just welcome stu­dents to come out,” Spieth said.

Brox agreed that such events will put Hillsdale shooting on the map. 

“As for these national events, they really put Hillsdale in the spot­light in the sports world,” she said. “Air rifle is the fastest growing youth sport in the country as of the last three years, and holding these com­pe­ti­tions brings Hillsdale into the attention of an even broader Christian, con­ser­v­ative, deter­mined community.”