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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.