Over fall break, the cross-country team traveled to Evansville, Indiana to race in the Southern Indiana Regional Preview.
Both teams had a successful weekend. The women’s team swept the competition with a first place finish out of nine teams and the men’s team took third.
“We ran well and we ran fast. Definitely from top to bottom it was the best race of the year,” head coach Joe Lynn said.
The women’s team had four top-10 finishers in the 6K. Junior Emily Oren was the weekend’s standout runner, putting up a personal best time of 20:43 to win the race.
All of Hillsdale’s top seven runners finished the race with personal best times.
“We all ran really well,” junior Kristina Galat said. “It was a really hot day out and it was unexpected. I didn’t feel very good, but I beat my personal best time by over a minute.”
Galat was right behind Oren, crossing the finish line with a time of 20:38 to secure second place.
“We knew going in we were the best team on paper. We had some strong competition, but we really set the tone in the beginning of the race,” Lynn said.
The men beat out six teams for a third place finish. They ran well but were missing a top runner, senior Joshua Mirth, who took the weekend off to rest.
“We should have him back really soon,” Lynn said. “Going into the race, we knew we weren’t at the same strength without Mirth.”
According to Lynn, the Southern Indiana and Malone teams were the Chargers’ biggest competition at the race.
“The men performed well. We left with a lot of positives,” Lynn said.
Senior Luke Hickman was the top runner for the Chargers. He placed 10th out of 118 runners in the 8K with a time of 25:04.
Seniors Jack Butler and Matthew Perkins and sophomore Joseph Newcomb finished within twenty seconds of Hickman.
Next weekend, the teams will take their top runners and race the conference meet in Tiffin, Ohio. On Nov. 22 the teams will compete in regionals. The top four teams at regionals qualify for nationals in December.
This weekend acted as a preview for regionals, as that tournament will also be hosted by Southern Indiana.
Being familiar with the course is a huge advantage in a race, Lynn said.
“It was nice getting down there,” Lynn said. “We are one of the only schools who have raced at both the regional and national courses.”
In terms of preparing for nationals, which are six weeks in the future, Lynn said that “not a lot is going to change.”
“We are keeping the volume up and not neglecting anything. We need balance across the board. After conference we are going to sharpen things up. I’ll be planning more intense workouts,” Lynn said.