The men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams com­peted at Indiana Uni­versity in the Dan Glad­stein Invi­ta­tional on Jan. 18 and 19. With the help of recently recruited freshmen, the team shows promise of a suc­cessful season.

Youth will also be the team’s greatest chal­lenge this season, said Andrew Towne, head women’s track and field coach. Last season, the team con­sisted mainly of seniors, and now much of the talent resides in the freshman class.

“We could run into a few bumps that you wouldn’t have if the team was older,” Towne said.

The men’s team also has a large influx of freshmen. The biggest sur­prise, said Jeff Forino, men’s head track and field coach, was two freshmen who also played on dif­ferent Hillsdale sports teams. Freshman Todd Frickey is a current football player and freshman Alex Mex­i­cotte pre­vi­ously played on the baseball team.

Junior Maurice Jones, who missed first place at the NCAA cham­pi­onships in 2012, was the top runner in the 200-meter dash. Mex­i­cotte placed sixth and junior Michael Shaw placed seventh in the same event.

Junior Justin Fawley took fifth in the hep­tathlon and junior Matt Raffin placed third in the 60-meter hurdles.

“The older guys are now maturing and they are becoming solid,” Forino said. “You can count on them now. They will perform well.”

Senior Kayla Caldwell, cur­rently Hillsdale’s record-holder in pole vault, beat her pre­vious record at the Glad­stein Invi­ta­tional, clearing 4.2 meters. She placed first at the meet.

Freshman Emily Oren took 2nd place in the 3000-meter run.

“I was so proud of the dis­tance girls this weekend,” junior captain Vic­toria McCaffery said. “They ran some fab­ulous times, which is impressive for both how young this team is and how early in the season it is.”

Dis­tance will be the women’s team’s greatest asset this year, Towne said, having lost the fewest upper­classmen in those events.

Forino said that the men’s greatest chal­lenge this season will be “pro­gressing and staying healthy.”

“We have solid freshmen, sopho­mores, and juniors. Next year we will be pretty darn good,” he added.

These earlier meets will help the team prepare for the NCAA indoor cham­pi­onships in March, Towne said.

“The first few meets get us jump-started to where we need to be,” he said. “The quicker we can get back into the swing of things, the better we will be able to perform.”

Hillsdale’s men’s team is cur­rently ranked 5th in the GLIAC and the women’s team is ranked 4th. This weekend, both teams will compete at a special quad meet in Allendale, Mich. against Central Michigan Uni­versity, Eastern Michigan Uni­versity, and Grand Valley State Uni­versity.