The Hillsdale College Chargers entered 2019 with high expectations in the G‑MAC. After a dominant team performance on their home track, Hillsdale seems poised to meet those expectations, and remains serious contenders for another conference championship.
The Chargers finished first at the Conference Crossover with 150 team points, besting G‑MAC adversaries Ursuline College and the University of Findlay by a comfortable margin.
Hillsdale was led by the performance of freshman thrower Nikita Maines. In just her third collegiate meet, Maines set a school record in the shot put with a throw of 14.05 meters. The distance breaks Melissa Aardema’s previous record throw of 13.82 meters, set in 1992. The distance also set a higher NCAA Division II provisional mark, increasing Maines’ chances of qualifying the event for the national meet.
“I figured I would do well but I didn’t think I would do so well so soon,” Maines said. “I think I can hand that success to my coaches and how much time they push us to put in.”
Maines has shown consistent improvement, both in the shot put and the weight throw, but she doesn’t want her success to end there.
“I just want to continue to do better. I want to continue to keep breaking the record and keep making it higher.” Maines said.
As for other field events, freshman Alexie Day jumped for a season-best height in high jump, clearing 1.53 meters to take second place.
The Chargers also saw strong performances on the track. Hillsdale runners continued their dominance in the mid-distance events. In the mile run, taking the first eight places. Sophomore Maryssa Depies led the way, finishing in 5 minutes and 6.58 seconds. Sophomore Abbie Porter and freshman Amber Mango cruised around the track to take second and third in the 800m, respectively.
Sophomore Carmen Botha took first in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 1:06.24, with freshman Melanie Boehm and sophomore Calli Townsend taking second and third respectively.
Boehm, Porter, and Townsend joined sophomore Zalonya Eby to take first in the 4x400 meter relay. The team finished in 4:06.04, rounding out a first-place team performance for the day.
“We’re all in this together, there’s no one left out,” Maines said. “We all have to keep pushing ourselves to that next level.”
The Chargers are back in action on Friday, traveling to Grand Valley State University for the GVSU Challenge. Events begin at 2 p.m.