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At the time of year when student-athletes are under the most stress from both end-of-the-year projects and the heightened importance of end-of-the-season competition, the men’s track team posted more solid performances at the Al Owens and Jesse Owens invites this past weekend.

At the Al Owens Classic in Allendale, Michigan, senior Todd Frickey and junior Sergio San Jose Lorza ran 10.74 and 10.84 seconds in the 100-meter dash, coming in fourth place and seventh place in the event, respectively. While the time wasn’t a season best for either athlete, short sprints coach Nate Miller said both athletes had heavy lifting workouts the week before, which decreased their body’s explosive power that’s so important in sprint events.

Miller said Frickey and Lorza weren’t happy about their times, but were happy with their performances.

“Now they’re going to be ready to hit the times they want to hit,” Miller said.

Hillsdale’s long sprinters and middle-distance athletes also ran some impressive performances at the meet. Junior Evan Tandy and freshman David Downey ran 56.66 and 57.17 seconds, respectively, in the 400-meter hurdles. In the 800-meter run, junior Nathan Jones ran a personal best time of 1:53.69, placing eighth, while sophomore Nick Fiene ran 1:55.00.    

Junior Daniel Čapek also had a good day, with season-best marks of 48.58 meters in discus and 59.33 meters in the hammer throw. While he wasn’t able to do so last weekend, Čapek said he believes he’ll be able to throw over 60 meters in the hammer throw before the end of the season.

The standout performance of the meet came from freshman Joe Humes, who ran 15:01.67 in his first collegiate 5000-meter run, placing third in the race. Humes’s time is the team’s fastest in the event this year, though senior Joe Newcomb ran 14:42.10 in the event during the indoor season.

Also impressive is the fact that Humes, whose primary event is the 1500-meter run, ran the race in training shoes, and not racing spikes, which weigh less and have better grip on the track.   

“I’ve come to realize that every race is going to hurt and that one just hurt for a long time,” Humes said. “The goal of the weekend wasn’t really to run a crazy-fast 5K, it was just to train. So I was in my flats, and I still needed to get my long run in after [the race].”

At Gina Relays, which the college is hosting this weekend, Humes hopes to run a time close to 3:50 in the 1500-meter run.

The men also ran a number of solid performances at the Jesse Owens Track Classic in Columbus, Ohio. Senior Ty Etchemendy ran a time of 55.03 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles, and in the 800-meter run, sophomore Tanner Schwannecke ran a time of 1:53.99. Senior Caleb Gatchell placed seventh in the 1500-meter run with a time of 3:50.59.  

Newcomb was sixth in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:19.69. His two steeplechase performances this season have been about 20 seconds slower than his personal best time last season, and Newcomb said there’s still a lot of work he can do in the event. In spite of this, Newcomb is confident he can drop his time down to where it was last outdoor season, and potentially qualify for the national meet at the end of May.

“Of course the Gina magic should help [this weekend],” Newcomb said. “Even with the times I’ve run so far, I still think I should be All-American in it. Last year I was ranked eighth going into nationals with my time, so I feel like I’m better before last year. It just hasn’t happened yet.”

This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the Track and Field Team will host the 51st Hillsdale College “Gina” Relays at the Ken Herrick Track in Muddy Water’s Stadium. Gina Relays is the largest meet hosted by the track and field program every year and this year for the first time ever, the meet will be streaming over the internet for those who have an account with the track and field broadcasting company Flotrack.