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Members of the Hillsdale College women’s track team — (L to R) Allison Duber, Lorina Clemence, Ashlee Moran, Tori Wichman, and Fiona Shea — all ran per­sonal bests in the 200-meter dash on Sat­urday. (Photo: Todd Lan­caster / Courtesy)

 

This weekend, while some were heading home for Easter fes­tiv­ities, the Hillsdale College women’s track team stayed in Hillsdale to compete in the Border Battle. The Chargers took advantage of the relaxed home meet and broke a few per­sonal records that led to the national list.

Head coach Andrew Towne designed this meet to accom­plish two things: to give the college an admin­is­trative test run before the annual Gina Relays meet, and to give the squad a chance to compete at home in a smaller, more casual meet.

“I was really happy with our group — I thought they did a really good job of com­peting,” Towne said. “They were really com­mitted to taking advantage of it.”

Juniors Ashlee Moran and Fiona Shea both met pro­vi­sional standard in the 100-meter dash. Moran came in first with her time of 11.97 with Shea right behind with 11.99. These were both per­sonal record times, however the wind pre­vented them from being ranked on the national list.

“I don’t find the way we measure wind to be the most accurate,” Towne com­mented. “There are always probably some per­for­mances that didn’t count that should have and some that did count that shouldn’t have. I think you can look at an overall day and have a lot better feel for that. This weekend, there were two races that were too windy, and I felt like those probably were anom­alies.”

Moran said she was pleas­antly sur­prised by her per­sonal record. 

“It was still really cool,” Moran said. “I didn’t think that I ran that fast. It seemed really slow when I came out of the blocks, but Fiona was right there with me pulling me along.”

Regardless of the wind factor, Moran expressed that the race was still uplifting. 

“It’s really encour­aging for myself, and I know that a lot of other people [broke their per­sonal records]. I think we are in a lot better place than we were in the indoor season,” Moran said. “I think everyone is more con­fident. We’ve all picked up where we left off, and we just want it more this season.”

Junior Tori Wichman met the pro­vi­sional standard in the 200-meter dash again, but this time the wind was not a factor. Wichman improved on her record as well, running a time of 24.25. She is ranked No. 20 in the event nationally.

“Because of the wind, I wasn’t sure if it was a true time,” Wichman said of last week. “But it was very reas­suring to know that I can run even faster with less wind. I’m hoping to just con­tinue to have steadily faster times — that cutting off .2 seconds the past couple weeks will become a pattern.”

Wichman said she will con­tinue to progress toward making it to the national meet but realizes the accom­plishment she has already achieved.

“As a team, we really focus on placing at GLIACs and qual­i­fying for nationals, so some­times I forget that I’m breaking school records,” Wichman said. “But that really is an honor because that record has been held for 13 years, so to be able to finally take it down I know is a big deal.”

Senior captain Allison Duber ran her season best this weekend and met pro­vi­sional standard in the 400-meter dash. Her time of 55.85 puts her at 22nd on the national list.

This outdoor season has already proved the amount of depth the Chargers have as a team in a variety of areas.

“I feel like almost across the board we’ve been doing the things we need to do when we needed to do them,” Towne said. “We’ve tried to be very flexible this season because you never know what the weather is going to be like. This is just another chance to go out and take advantage of oppor­tu­nities.”

Towne said he’s excited for where the team is at this point in the season.

“I told the team that we are weeks ahead of where we were in indoors at this point,” Towne said. “And I feel like we’ve probably never been in a better spot as a full group than we are right now in terms of per­for­mances but also atti­tudes. If we con­tinue to com­mu­nicate with one another really well and con­tinue to be really com­mitted this will be a very good season.”

This weekend, the teams will compete at Ohio State Uni­versity and Grand Valley State Uni­versity.