The Hillsdale College Chargers will compete at the G‑MAC Championship meet on Saturday in Canton, Ohio. This will be the Chargers’ first meet of the championship season, and senior Eli Poth said he is excited about the increase in intensity the postseason brings.
“It’s exciting to run the championship meets because there are no more excuses and it’s what we trained for the whole time,” Poth said. “At the end of the day all that matters is the championship.”
While the Chargers came in fourth in the G‑MAC at the pre-national meet at Slippery Rock University earlier in the season, junior Joey Humes said he knows the Chargers can compete with the best teams in the conference and can beat them if they catch a small break.
“I really hope everyone shows up ready to race, and maybe one of the other teams falters on something or slacks off a little bit,” Humes said. “That’ll give us a chance to win a conference championship.”
The meet will be hosted by Walsh University on a course that no Charger has ever run before. Despite the unfamiliarity, the sophomore Mark Miller said the Chargers hope to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish at the G‑MAC championships.
“We have Joey back, which is huge because he’s our low guy, and Eli is back for his last year and he’s really strong,” Miller said. “As a team I think winning is a good goal, and I think if everyone races well I think we can do it.”
The amount of training miles the team runs each week has decreased throughout the season, assistant coach R.P. White said. This allows the team to be rested for more important meets and helps the team peak during the postseason.
Miller said he thought the team would have its breakout race two weeks ago at the pre-national, but said he still thinks the team’s best is yet to come.
“I think this race is the race where everyone is going to start to do well. I think we are all going to have a good performance and turn some heads,” Miller said. “Then we are going to go into regionals and it’ll be like we came out of nowhere because we are a small team and nobody is paying attention to us.”