When the Hillsdale College Chargers arrived at the University of Findlay’s Malcolm Athletic Center for the Findlay Open, they came to compete with one goal in mind: to win as a team. This year, the Chargers face an improved G‑MAC field with a young team, missing several graduates from the team that finished second at the G‑MAC Indoor Championships last March. In spite of the obstacles, head coach Andrew Towne is confident in his team’s ability to find success.
“One of the reasons we’ve been able to have success is we’ve always, when we’ve been at our best, emphasized the individual within the team, and I think we’ve gotten back to that,” Towne said. “We’ve just made it a bigger emphasis.”
The Chargers certainly looked the part, leaving Findlay with a quality performance that demonstrated improvement, and showed the signs of a team that could once again compete for a conference title.
In the 3000 meter run, the Chargers took three of the top four spots, with freshman Mark Miller taking first, finishing the race in eight minutes and 49 seconds. Sophomore Jack Shelley finished in second in 8:50, while junior Alex Oquist finished just a few seconds behind in fourth, ending with a time of 8:54. Sophomore Adam Wade rounded out the strong mid-distance performance with a victory in the 800 meter run, finishing with a time of 2:00.52.
Three Chargers qualified for finals in the 60 meter hurdles. Freshman John Baldwin finished in fourth with a time of 8.70 seconds, junior Ian Brown just behind in fifth in 8.75 seconds, and sophomore Ryan Thomsen in seventh with a time of 8.88 seconds.
Freshman Jacob Schmidt showed potential in the 60 meter dash, finishing second in a close race with 6.99 seconds.
In the field events, Thomsen finished second in the long jump, landing at 6.7 meters.
The Chargers will compete in the Conference Crossover on Friday at Hillsdale’s Biermann Athletic Center. The meet will feature strong competition from different conferences.