Eli Poth com­petes during the track season in addition to running for the cross country team. (Olivia Llewelyn | Courtesy)

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.