It’s been a year of making history.
Senior Amanda Putt became the most recent Charger to make Hillsdale College history. Putt broke ‘05 grad Stephanie Carroll’s 4:52 indoor mile record with her very own 4:49.04 at the Northwest Ohio Meet on Jan. 23.
Just this past weekend at the Indiana Relays, Putt broke her own record again with a time of 4:46.43, putting her first in the nation in Division II for the event.
During her first two seasons, injuries hindered Putt from racing consistently, but last June marked the turning point. Now, she said, she is focusing on winning the mile run at the indoor national meet— she placed fifth last year.
“I want to see how fast I can get my times down for the season,” Putt said. “The next couple weeks I will start focusing more on winning and beating certain people. My goal is to win nationals, but it’s very early in the season. That could totally change, but that’s kind of what I’m working towards — to win conference and nationals.”
Putt also holds the school’s indoor 3k record with a time of 9:51, and the outdoor 1500-meter run with a 4:29.
But Putt is only one of a handful of other recent track and field record setters.
Fifth-year senior Nate English holds both indoor and outdoor shot put records. He threw a 55 feet 2 inches last spring at Northwood University, and he followed up that performance with a 57-feet-3-inch indoor throw this past December at the University of Findlay.
English, who has been throwing since sixth grade, is also saving up for the conference meet and national championships.
To English, shot put is more than a sport he is good at.
“It’s kind of my hobby,” English said. “Some people paint or read. I throw. It’s a little more physically demanding and brutal on the body, but it’s enjoyable for me, especially when it goes well.”
Sophomore sprinter Maurice “Mo” Jones also joined the ranks of record holders last December at Northwood, with a 6.92 second 60-meter dash. He edged out his former coach and ‘10 grad Jared Krout’s record by a hundredth of a second.
“I’d like to finish up the year by wiping Jared Krout off the indoor records board,” Jones said. “I say this out of respect.
Jones said he has set his sights on Krout’s remaining records, specifically the 400-meter record for the outdoor season. Krout holds four more records besides the one Jones broke.
“[H]e was a great runner, and beating the records he holds in the 200, and 400 open would be quite an achievement and that’s why I want to [break them] — striving to be a great athlete. And as we move to outdoor, I hope to get his outdoor record in the 400, which would be a lot more difficult but still realistic.”
Jones is not the only Hillsdale athlete to replace a friend and mentor’s record. Junior running back Joe Glendening broke ex-teammate and ‘10 grad Vinnie Panizzi’s record for total touchdowns in a season with 27.
“I was able to learn a lot from Vinnie as I was fortunate enough to play under him my freshman year,” Glendening said.
Glendening also holds the school records for rushing yards in a single season, carries, and rushing touchdowns, which was a 56-year-old record set by Nate Clark ’56 in 1955.
“I was definitely honored to have my name placed in the record books because there have been a lot of great players who have gone through the program,” Glendening said. “I was also extremely proud of our offense as a whole because it is a testament to their efforts that allowed personal achievements.”
Senior volleyball player Ashlee Crowder has also earned significant personal achievements amidst a successful sports program. This past fall, the volleyball team advanced to the semifinal round of the national championship and Crowder set the school record with 1,730 kills over the course of her college career.
Crowder was unaware that she was nearing ‘99 grad Cassandra Cole’s record of 1,664 kills until Brad Monastiere, the sports information director, gave her a heads up, and the student fans started counting down.
“The student section came with a count down – they all had Ks – that’s how I kind of knew,” Crowder said. “When I got the kill, they all freaked, and I was like ‘Oh, I must have broken it.’”
Since Crowder’s eligibility is now up, she said she has been enjoying being a student.
“[Being finished] will definitely hit me when preseason rolls around and they start competing and I am sitting on the bench with a clipboard,” Crowder said. “I have no regrets. It was a heck of a four years. I learned a lot, and I grew as a player.
“And I guess I broke some records.”