The Chargers women’s track team won first place at Saturday’s meet, the Conference Crossover, the first hosted by Hillsdale this season.
Hillsdale finished with 137 points at the meet that brought together multiple Midwest conferences, the G-MAC, the GLIAC, and the GLVC.
Comparing the event to last week’s unscored meet at Michigan, head coach Andrew Towne said, “It was a much better meet for us. At this point in the year, some people are getting their seasons started, but for the most part, you’re getting a chance to begin to correct the things that you need to get better at.”
Among the athletes to help secure first place for the team, senior Rachael Tolsma made a season best, winning first place in both weight throw and shot put. Her weight throw was a NCAA provisional mark of 17.76 meters.
“She’s been competing really, really, well,” Towne said.
The freshmen proved their skill in the meet, with Abbie Porter and Hannah Watts winning second and third place in the 800 meter race, Porter’s first race in the 800 meter on the Charger team. Kyleigh Edwards won first place in the 3000 meter, finishing in 10:28.92. Sophomore Addison Rauch came in second.
Freshman Carmen Botha won first place in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 104:22, close to her personal best. Freshman Calli Townsend finished second in the event, one usually contested outdoors, but which Hillsdale always includes in its first the meet.
Botha said she hadn’t run the 400 meter hurdles in more than a year.
“I was kind of surprised because my fastest time I’ve ever run in the 400 meter hurdles is a 63.64,” She said. “That’s pretty close to each other so I’m really pleased with that.”
She also came in third in the 60 meter hurdles, finishing in 9.22 seconds.
“For the 60 meter hurdles I was really nervous because my mom came all the way from South Africa to watch me,” she said. “I almost false started, which is really bad, but I still made it through.”
Freshman Zoe Eby won first place in the 200 meter with a time of 25.26, also a NCAA provisional mark, while seniors Ashlee Moran and Fiona Shea took second and third place.
Townsend said racing in the Margot V. Biermann Athletic Center contributed to a good atmosphere.
“ It was a fun meet, being that it was home,” she said. “It was super interesting, a little scary, but really fun, I liked it a lot.”
According to Townsend, part of the benefit of racing at home was the comfort.
“I felt a lot better being here than at Michigan because Michigan was huge,” she said. “This was much more relaxed and I felt a lot more comfortable.”
In the future Towne expects the meet to grow, as four schools backed out of the Conference Crossover for different reasons.
“I think as it gets bigger it will be more competitive,” he said. “Because how we originally intended to score it was not team by team, which is how we had to do it with just five teams, but more on a conference by conference basis.”
This Saturday the team will travel to Grand Valley State University for another relatively small meet.