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Junior Jared Schipper pole vaults at the Hillsdale Wide Track Classic last weekend. (Photo: Evan Carter / Hillsdale Col­legian)

This weekend, Hillsdale hosted its annual “Tune-Up” meet, giving ath­letes a chance to do just that — tune up last-minute per­for­mances before heading into the con­ference meet this weekend at the Uni­versity of Findlay. 

“I thought it was another really good step for us. It was exactly, as the meet is named, a good tune-up for a lot of people,” head coach Andrew Towne said. “We’re ready for GLIACs. The majority of our kids that are going to compete there have been at a pretty high level and are con­fident that they can con­tinue to do that.”

Junior Tori Wichman met the pro­vi­sional standard in the 200-meter dash with her first-place time of 24.95 seconds — her best this season, which places her 24th on the national list.

Senior Allison Duber took first in the 400 meter, with a pro­vi­sional time of 56.99 seconds. Duber is cur­rently ranked 26th nationally. Junior Hannah Watts won the 800-meter race with a 2:16.64 per­for­mance, meeting the pro­vi­sional standard.

Senior pole vaulter Alex Whitford is still ranked sixth after once again vaulting pro­vi­sional height, clearing 12 feet, 6.25 inches.

Senior Dana Newell broke the school record this weekend in the women’s weight throw with her throw of 62 feet, 7.25 inches. This is a per­sonal record for Newell who remains ranked tenth nationally.

“There wasn’t a lot of com­pe­tition,” Newell said. “The main thing I was focusing on was doing the best I can and I was hoping for 62 feet, but I didn’t think I would get it, but I got it on my first throw.” 

The record was held by her throwing coun­terpart, junior Rachael Tolsma, last year. Newell’s per­sonal record pre­vi­ously was just under 61 feet.

“I still feel better overall, and it’s just good to know that I’m still hitting these high marks, and I still have time before NCAAs,” Newell said. “The idea behind it is just focusing on the same things I’ve been focusing on all year — trying not to do any­thing new and just focusing on the per­for­mance and do what I need to do.”

Tolsma also reached the pro­vi­sional standard throwing 57 feet, 7.5 inches. She’s ranked 16th overall.

Both throwers earned All-American titles in the event last year and expect to con­tinue the trend this year.

On the men’s side, there were an addi­tional five pro­vi­sional stan­dards met this weekend. 

Senior Sergio San Jose Lorza ran a 6.86 in the 60-meter dash, breaking his per­sonal record, taking second, and meeting the pro­vi­sional standard for the event.

Senior Todd Frickey also ran a 6.86 in the finals for the 60, but placed third — .09 seconds behind Lorza in the pre­lim­i­naries. 

In a race where every mil­lisecond counts, Frickey is cur­rently ranked 14th nationally for his per­for­mance of 6.81 early in the season while Lorza is ranked 36th for his per­for­mance this weekend. 

Lorza also ran his per­sonal best in the 200 this weekend, making the pro­vi­sional list with his 22.08-seconds per­for­mance. 

In the 800 meter, sophomore Tanner Schwan­necke took first and gave his season-best per­for­mance of 1:53.58, putting Schwan­necke at No. 17 on the national list. 

“I felt pretty excited with how I did, but being right on the edge there just makes me really want to push this week and kill it next week at con­ference,” Schwan­necke said. “I just want to be the best I can be. If it doesn’t work out it will give me some­thing to work for in the future.”

Schwan­necke attributes this race to his training and focusing on staying calm and pacing. He said he’s excited for the con­ference meet where he’ll compete against the athlete that is 16th on the national list. 

Last year, Schwan­necke raced at the national meet with the dis­tance medley relay, which is also on the cusp of making it to the national meet. 

Junior Jared Schipper cleared a height of 16 feet, 3.25 inches in the pole vault. This is the pre­vious All-American’s sixth time meeting the pro­vi­sional height this season — Schippter is ranked 12th nationally.

“If you look at our program objec­tives, our number one objective is always NCAAs and how we are faring there. The next pri­ority is how we do at the con­ference level,” Towne said. 

At the Chargers’ final indoor GLIAC con­ference meet, Towne wants his ath­letes to leave a lasting per­for­mance. 

“We are always trying to win, but there is a certain way we do things at Hillsdale across the board and in the program that exem­plify Hillsdale, and we want to con­tinue to show those things in our last go-around,” Towne said. 

The team motto is always “excel­lence,” but each year Towne adds another word for the team to focus and reflect on. This year he chose “commit” as a con­stant reminder to his ath­letes to avoid outside dis­trac­tions during com­pe­tition. 

The GLIAC con­ference meet is one of the last in the country, and Sunday is the last qual­i­fying day.

“You never totally know what you have to get done so you always want to be at your best,” Towne said. “But as I look through our roster at men and women, there are quite a lot that are safe for NCAAs and some that are on the fence and some that could sur­prise people.”