Despite the winter storm raging outside, the Charger men kept the track hot at the GVSU Big Meet. To beat the ice and snow, the team left Thursday night rather than Friday afternoon.
“Thursday morning I realized that the snow was going to totally encompass our travel time,” head coach Andrew Towne said. “Depending on where people were coming from for the meet, it took them two to three times as long to get there. Because it was a fairly important meet, it was our last regular season meet, we decided to leave Thursday night before the storm hit.”
Despite the change in plans, the actual meet itself went off without a hitch. Showings were strong with a few standout athletes delivering impressive showings. Sophomore Joey Humes broke the Hillsdale College record in the mile despite being placed in the slower heat.
“They didn’t put me in the fast heat,” Humes said. “I was totally expecting to be in one and then I wasn’t. My PR is not where I should be. So that was pretty rough. When you’re in the fast meet and you have all those people around you going fast, it’s so much easier. When you look at people that run really fast races, they rarely do it alone. You always run faster when there are people around you.”
Despite the challenge, Humes ran to a 4:06.11 finish in the mile, good enough to beat the Hillsdale record by less than a second.
“It was so cool,” Humes said. “My whole team was cheering me on and I heard my coach cheering me on. It was such an awesome environment.”
Humes has had a strong season, delivering solid performance after solid performance. Just a few weeks ago, he broke the Biermann Athletics Center record in the 1,000 meter. Towne said his success is a combination of a few key elements.
“He’s very talented, first of all,” Towne said. “But he’s also very driven and very motivated. He’s also been able to string together a lot of consistent training.”
Consistent training is a key part of a successful season, something Towne and his staff frequently emphasize with their athletes.
“That’s something we talk about with the kids on a regular basis,” Towne said.” Just being able to train on a regular basis is going to help you be better. If you have to take time off for an injury or what have you, the training adaptation process stops.”
Humes also competes in the men’s distance medley relay. The team made up of Humes, freshmen Adam Wade and Konnor Maloney, and senior Nathan Jones, has delivered consistent performances in past meets. Jones said that his teammates have performed well beyond their years.
“With young guys, you sometimes don’t know what to expect when they get into a big atmosphere,” Jones said. “They’ve handled themselves with a lot of maturity. Having two freshmen and one sophomore on that relay, it’s been fun.”
The Chargers will host the Hillsdale Tune Up on Saturday at the Biermann Center.