Junior Olympic hopefuls compete at Hillsdale College

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Junior Olympic hopefuls compete in Junior Olympic Rifle Championships

From Hillsdale College,

HILLSDALE, Mich. — Hillsdale College hosted more than 400 Junior Olympic air rifle athletes from May 11-15. Shooters ages 12 to 20 competed in two shooting events at Hillsdale College’s Margot V. Biermann Athletic Center. The best shooters will earn spots on the National Junior Shooting Team.

“Hillsdale College was proud to host the U.S. National Junior Olympic Rifle Shooting Championship for the second year in a row,” said Andrew Traciak, Hillsdale College Rifle and Pistol Coach. “These athletes are the future of international rifle competition in the United States. Most are also prospective students, and we hope to see many return to Hillsdale College in this capacity both as student-athletes in our rifle program and as future leaders in their fields of academic study.

The championship is the nation’s largest annual international-style competition for junior shooters (under 21) and highlights the strength of the partnership between Hillsdale College and USA Shooting. Select junior shooters will go on to represent the United States in World Cup, World Championship, Olympic and Paralympic competition.

Junior shooters were housed on campus and received tours of campus and the Halter Center.

The two events in competition are: 50-foot small bore, where competitors shoot kneeling, prone, and standing with a .22 rifle; and 10 meter standing air rifle. Both are a direct reflection of the Olympic air rifle event and are marked to a few decimal places near the millimeter. Several junior athletes with physical limitations also competed in the Paralympic categories, in which shooters used specially designed equipment to shoot modified versions of standing and prone air rifle matches.

This year’s champions are:

  • Junior Olympic Men’s Small Bore Rifle: Matt Sanchez, Derek Keiser and Rylan Kissell
  • Junior Olympic Women’s Small Bore Rifle: Cecelia Ossi, Lauren Hurley and Natalie Perrin
  • Junior Men’s Olympic Rifle: Scott Rockett, Gavin Perkowski and Rylan Kissell
  • Junior Women’s Olympic Rifle: Kristen Derting, Lauren Hurley and Clarissa Layland

Upcoming scheduled shooting sports events at the John A. Halter Shooting Sports Education Center include two World Junior Camps, the Michigan Olympic Junior Shotgun Championship and a Community Clay Target League Championship. For more information, visit shootingsports.hillsdale.edu.

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