The Hillsdale Chargers opened their season on Friday at the Jeff Drenth Memorial in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, where the team placed third overall and junior Joey Humes set a new conference record as he led the pack of 44 runners.
The meet included Division I programs Michigan State University and Central Michigan University. Humes’ time of 15 minutes, 13.44 seconds was fast enough to win the 5k race. Humes said his rigorous summer training regimen was the key to his success.
“The meet was a good confidence booster. I was doing 90 – 100 miles a week in the summer and I wasn’t sure how it would play out, if I would feel like trash or not,” he said. “Running that race and feeling as good as I did, I can say the training is definitely working for me.”
Humes had never won a collegiate cross country meet, but his teammate, Eric Poth, said the team knew Humes had the talent to compete with runners from bigger schools.
“We know he has it in him to win, and he knows he has it in him. There was no doubt,” Poth said. “He has the talent to go to those schools without paying a dime.”
Freshman Adam Wier made his collegiate debut in the meet and placed sixth on the team with a time of 16:54.58. Assistant coach R.P. White said he was pleased with Wier’s performance and said he could be a contributor during the longer races at the end of the season.
“By just watching Wier in practice and watching him in the race, you can tell he’s going to be a long distance guy,” he said. “Eventually, by the end of the season when he’s acclimated to school and training, I think he can help us out over 10,000 meters.”
The other new addition to the team, freshman James McClure, did not race due to a foot injury.
The next meet the Chargers will compete in is the Spartan Invitational in East Lansing, Michigan, on Sept. 14.