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.”