As the events concluded Saturday in the Biermann Athletic Center, one of the most exciting weeks of the season began: championship week. The Hillsdale College Chargers will enter next week’s G-MAC Indoor Championship fresh off a strong finish at last weekend’s Hillsdale Tune-Up. The Chargers finished second with 75 points behind Adrian College, who took the top spot with 126 points.
Hillsdale’s only victory of the weekend came in the high jump as freshman Will Syrus jumped 6.32 meters on his final attempt to take first. Syrus continues to show improvement after battling through injury last fall, and has the athleticism to make a tangible impact as the Chargers continue to search for depth in the field events.
Sophomore Morgan Morrison turned in an excellent time in the mile run, finishing the race in 4:26.05. After a slow start, Morrison ran the last three laps faster than the rest of the field to finish second.
If Hillsdale hopes to surpass last year’s second place performance at the G-MAC Indoor Track and Field Championship, the Chargers will need an excellent performance from junior Joey Humes. At last year’s meet, an event which Hillsdale hosted, Humes won Track Athlete of the Meet. This year, Humes has the fastest times in the G-MAC this year in the mile and 3000 meter runs, and ranks second in the 5000 meter run.
In the field, freshman pole vaulter Ben Raffin seems poised to make a leap to the top of the conference. Raffin has the third best mark in the G-MAC this season, but his knack for consistent improvement this season makes him a threat to challenge in the pole vault and win valuable points for Hillsdale.
Another key piece for the Chargers is sophomore Ryan Thomsen. Thomsen had a breakout year in the field, competing well in a variety of events. Hillsdale will look for a strong performance from Thomsen in the heptathlon — one of the sports greatest tests of overall athleticism — as he enters this weekend with the second best score in the event among G-MAC competition.
This year, the conference championship meet is held at the University of Findlay, the defending champion in the G-MAC. As the Chargers look to carry home the title, they will face stiff competition up and down the conference — especially from Findlay and G-MAC newcomer Tiffin University. Events begin on Friday in Findlay’s Malcolm Athletic Center at 10 a.m., and will conclude Saturday evening.