(Photo: Todd Lan­caster / Courtesy)

Coming off a first place ranking at the Con­ference Crossover, the Charger men delivered strong per­for­mances at the Mike Lints Alumni Open at Grand Valley State Uni­versity. With three meets left until G-MAC Indoor Cham­pi­onships, head coach Andrew Towne said the meet was a good step forward.

“It went well,” Towne said. “We’re at the point in the season where you want to be taking steps forward every week. From Michigan a few weeks ago, to home last week, to Grand Valley this week, I think that we’ve done that.”

While the team as a whole did well, there were a few out­standing per­for­mances. Sophomore Joey Humes, coming off a record-breaking per­for­mance in the 1,000 meter at the Con­ference Crossover, took first with a time of 8:24.62 and earned NCAA pro­vi­sional status.

“There was one guy and I just decided to stick with him,” Humes said. “The whole race he was going to go fast and so I was just going to try and hold on. But once the pacer dropped off, he didn’t really want to go fast. So then we weren’t going for the fastest time but just for the win.”

Humes stuck to the shoulder of the front runner and made moves accord­ingly throughout the duration.

“It was one of the most fun races I’ve had in a really long time,” Humes said. “It wasn’t the quickest time. It’s con­sidered a pro­vi­sional qual­i­fying time for Nationals. It won’t get me to Nationals, but it was a fun race.”

Another out­standing per­for­mance came from senior Lane White who took third place in his 400 with a time of 49.21 seconds.

“The season is pro­gressing well for myself and everyone else,” White said. “Right now we’re in a good position to do well at G-MACs and hope­fully at Nationals. We’re going to take each per­for­mance weekend by weekend.”

Towne said the team is focusing on improving and strength­ening its per­for­mances.

“You want to be checking boxes, so to speak, in terms of getting things done,” Towne said. “Now is the time for that. One of the things we talked about with the guys is you can’t just show up at a cham­pi­onship meet and expect it’s going to be there. You have to prepare.”

That prepa­ration comes with both the physical and mental side of the sport. 

“We need to con­tinue to be more urgent and more com­mitted,” Towne said. “Not that we’ve had any issues with that but just really buckling down and making sure we have no dis­trac­tions. You gotta do the things now, whether its phys­i­cally or men­tally, so that when you’re there you are ready to go.”

As the season begins to draw to a close, the team is at home this Friday and Sat­urday for the Wide Track Classic. The meet will see the Chargers com­peting against solid pro­grams from around the United States and Canada.

“We’ve brought in some really great teams,” Towne said. “We have Academy of the Art Uni­versity coming in, which is one of the better pro­grams in the country. They’re from San Fran­cisco. Simon Fraser Uni­versity, which is a pretty solid program, will be here from British Columbia. We have a pretty solid meet this weekend.”