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Kajsa Johannson was named G-MAC Freshman Woman’s Track Athlete of the Meet at the G-MAC Indoor Cham­pi­onships.

Records some­times seem to last forever, enduring so long they reach a near-mythical status; rar­ified air never to be breathed again. In Kajsa Johansson’s mind, however, 37 years was long enough.

Johansson flirted with the school record in the 60 meter dash — set at 7.70 seconds by Carol Pettit in 1982 — all year, coming within three hun­dredths of a second on three dif­ferent occa­sions. In the final heat of the G-MAC Indoor Cham­pi­onships when it mat­tered most, Johansson blew the record away. She fin­ished in 7.65 seconds and took first in the event.

“It’s really cool. All season I expected con­ference to be the time where my per­for­mance would peak for the season.” Johansson said. “In the moment, I wasn’t really focused on that though, I was focused on scoring points for the team.”

As a young team, the Chargers entered the G-MAC Indoor Cham­pi­onship looking to make a splash. After the events con­cluded Sat­urday in the Uni­versity of Findlay’s Malcolm Ath­letic Center, Hillsdale found them­selves in third with 99.5 points. The Chargers fin­ished just behind Walsh Uni­versity, who took second with 103 points, while Tiffin Uni­versity made a statement in their first year in the G-MAC, fin­ishing first with 188.5 points.

“Con­sid­ering the size of our team this year and how young our team is, that was really impressive.” Johansson said. “There’s a lot of potential in the future for us.”

Johansson show­cased some of that potential in both her events. After winning the 60m, Johansson also ran well in the 200 meter dash, fin­ishing second with a time of 25.23 seconds, a per­sonal best.

In light of Johansson’s per­for­mance in the 60m and the 200m, she was rec­og­nized as the Freshman of the Meet. Johansson has demon­strated explosive ath­leticism and extra­or­dinary potential in her first full indoor season, and is locked in on improving.

“Being on the younger side of the team, I just want to focus on improvement.” Johansson said. “I just want to get faster.”

In the 5000 meter run, sophomore Christina Sawyer fin­ished at the head of the pack. Her time of 17:48.74 placed her in first and earned her the title of con­ference champion.

Sophomore Abbie Porter also com­peted well in the 800 meter run, fin­ishing just seven hun­dredths of a second behind the leader to take second in a time of 2:16.64. Porter is one of the two Chargers to qualify for the national meet. Her season best time of 2:11.23 is the 14th best in the nation.

Hillsdale’s other qual­ifier for nationals is senior Allysen Eads. In her qual­ified event, the mile run, Eads fin­ished in 4:57.77 to take second place in the G-MAC. Her fastest time this year, just over four minutes and 52 seconds, ranks as the 12th quickest time in the country this season. Eads is also qual­ified in the 3000 meter run.

In the field, freshman thrower Nikita Maines con­tinued to perform at a high level for Hillsdale. Maines broke her own school record for the third time this year, throwing 14.29 meters to take third. Midway through her freshman cam­paign, Maines already has the six best throws in school history, but she’s con­fident she hasn’t reached her ceiling yet.

“I believe I can keep throwing well and keep setting that record higher,” Maines said.

As the indoor regular season comes to a close, Eads and Porter will look forward to the Division II Indoor National Cham­pi­onships in Pittsburg, Kansas on March 8 and 9. For the rest of the team, the beginning of the outdoor season is right around the corner, bringing new oppor­tu­nities for success.

“The outdoor season’s a lot of fun,” Johansson said. “Everyone’s excited to just get outside and get working.”

The outdoor season will begin on March 15 when the Chargers will travel to the Uni­versity of Miami for the Miami Hur­ricane Invi­ta­tional.

 

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    She is really a great sprinter and at only being a freshman she has lots of future oppor­tunity for success as a Hillsdale Charger.