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Maryssa Depies runs during the Slippery Rock Uni­versity Pre-National meet on Sat­urday. Depies fin­ished eighth overall in the 6k race. Slippery Rock Uni­versity | courtesy

The Hillsdale Chargers expe­ri­enced tough com­pe­tition, two new per­sonal bests, and a third-place finish on Sat­urday at the 2018 Pre-Nationals Meet in Pitts­burgh, Penn­syl­vania.

Thirty teams and 293 runners com­peted in this meet, including four other G-MAC schools: the Uni­versity of Findlay, Davis & Elkins College, Walsh Uni­versity and Malone Uni­versity. Hillsdale scored 128 points, behind Walsh, which fin­ished second overall with 91 points. Malone took eighth, Findlay was next in 23rd, and Davis & Elkins came in 26th. 

This meet gave the Chargers one last oppor­tunity to compete against rival schools before their next meet: the G-MAC cham­pi­onship on Nov. 3. Head Coach Andrew Towne said he felt the team had a solid per­for­mance and exe­cuted well.

“I thought it was a good expe­rience for them to be on the same course that NCAAs will be on,” Towne said. 

Sopho­mores Maryssa Depies and Christina Sawyer led the way for the Chargers, taking ninth and 17th, respec­tively. Depies fin­ished the race in 22 minutes and 56 seconds, and Sawyer ran 23:07. 

Right behind the pair of sopho­mores was junior Ally Eads, who took 22nd overall and fin­ished in 23:15.

Next to cross the finish line was sophomore Lauren Peterson who has con­tinued to improve all fall. Her time of 23:49 replaces her pre­vious best of 24:23.9, which earned her a 37th-place finish. 

“It’s fun,” Peterson said of setting new per­sonal records. “I PR’d in the 6k at Michigan State, and again this past weekend. I feel like I have an oppor­tunity to add some­thing to our team this year.”

Junior Kate Van­der­stelt has also con­tinued to improve this fall, as she fin­ished 48th overall and fifth for Hillsdale. Pre­vi­ously her best time was 24:01.6 from October 2016, but she fin­ished Saturday’s race in 24:00, earning a new per­sonal best. 

Despite fin­ishing third as a team, the Chargers weren’t quite at their full potential, according to Towne. 

“I don’t think we were a full team,” Towne said. “We had a couple sit­u­a­tions where someone wasn’t racing or a couple kids that were racing for their first time in a while in a quality meet.”

Junior Arena Lewis was out of town and unable to run, and freshman Sophia Maeda was just coming back from an injury, so this was her first ever 6k race. Maeda said she thought it was good to have the expe­rience of racing a 6k before the G-MAC con­ference cham­pi­onship.

The Chargers will con­tinue to improve their times and fitness levels as they prepare for the approaching cham­pi­onship season. 

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    I didn’t think Walsh would perform so well this season. They’ll be a chal­lenge in the GMAC cham­pi­onships.