Ally Eads runs during the Wide Track Classic on Feb­ruary 1. (Todd Lan­caster | Courtesy)

Throughout the season, the Hillsdale College Chargers have shown flashes of the team that won last year’s G-MAC Indoor Track and Field Cham­pi­onship. At last weekend’s Hillsdale Tune-Up, the Chargers had one last moment of bril­liance before they get a chance to defend their title. Hillsdale fin­ished first at the meet with 94 points. Nearby Spring Arbor Uni­versity fin­ished second with 77 points, with Taylor Uni­versity taking the third spot with 69 points.

After winning last year’s G-MAC cham­pi­onship by more than 100 points, the Chargers hope to repeat their success, but it will take each member of their young team. Hillsdale grad­uated eight seniors who com­bined for 83 of the team’s 199 points last year.

Freshman thrower Nikita Maines con­tinues to throw well in the shot put, tying her own school record of 14.09 meters on her way to victory. Maines ranks fourth in the G-MAC in the shot put this year, and has the power to chal­lenge for a title this weekend. In the weight throw, Maines set a per­sonal best of 14.80 meters to finish fourth.

One of the most encour­aging signs for the Chargers was the resur­gence of a healthy Kajsa Johansson. After a few weeks of bat­tling injury, Johansson ran the 60 meter dash in 7.73 seconds, just one-hun­dredth of a second off her per­sonal best and three-hun­dredths of a second off the school record.

Johansson is a key piece in Hillsdale’s quest for another title. The sophomore sprinter is in the middle of a breakout season, recording the fastest 60 meter dash time and the second fastest 200 meter dash time in the G-MAC this year.

The Chargers also saw success in the 200 meter dash from freshman Alanna O’Leary, who set a per­sonal best of 26.29 seconds on her way to a first place finish.

Hillsdale will draw its strength from the dis­tance events. Senior Ally Eads leads the con­ference with the fastest time this season in the mile run, and ranks as the second fastest in the 3000 meter run. Sophomore Maryssa Depies will also chal­lenge the field in the 3000 meter, as she’ll go into the weekend ranked third in the con­ference. In the 5000 meter run, junior Arena Lewis cur­rently stands second in the con­ference.

Hillsdale should also be com­pet­itive in the 800 meter dash, as sopho­mores Abbie Porter and Calli Townsend both enter this week ranked in the top five in the G-MAC in the event.

The con­ference cham­pi­onship will be held this weekend at the Uni­versity of Findlay’s Malcolm Ath­letic Center. Events begin on Friday at 10 a.m., and con­clude Sat­urday evening.