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Ben Raffin clears the pole during the pole vault at the Con­ference Crossover earlier this season. (Scott Lowery | Col­legian)

With the G-MAC Indoor Cham­pi­onships just three weeks away, the Hillsdale College Chargers seem to be finding their stride after a strong per­for­mance in last week’s Wide Track Classic. The Chargers com­peted well at home over the weekend against a field that included rep­re­sen­ta­tives from three of the nation’s top 10 teams. Third-ranked Tiffin Uni­versity took first at the meet with 172 points, while Hillsdale took second with 85.

Sophomore Ryan Thomsen led the charge by fin­ishing first in the hep­tathlon, one of the sport’s most dif­ficult tests of overall ath­leticism. Thomsen won the 1000 meter run and took second in both the high jump and shot put on his way to victory. His score of 4927 points com­fortably passed the Division II pro­vi­sional mark and placed him in prime position to qualify for the national meet.

The Chargers also saw a career day in the hep­tathlon from freshman John Baldwin. Baldwin won the 60 meter dash and 60 meter hurdles en route to a second place finish with 4743 points, a score high enough to achieve a pro­vi­sional mark.

On the track, Hillsdale had a strong showing in the shorter sprint events. Junior Ian Brown took third in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.69 seconds. In the 60 meter dash, freshman Jacob Schmidt qual­ified for the finals in a deep and com­pet­itive field of 65 runners, fin­ishing fourth with a time of 6.99 seconds.

Schmidt also stepped up in the 200 meter dash, where he fin­ished fifth out of a field of 64 com­petitors with a time of 22.68 seconds.

In the 800 meter run, sophomore Jack Shelley surged from the middle of the pack on the last lap to take third, fin­ishing a half second off the lead with a time of 1:57.66. His teammate, freshman Mark Miller, fin­ished fourth with a time of 1:57.72.

Shelley joined sophomore Adam Wade, junior Joseph Humes, and senior Levi Wyse in the dis­tance medley relay. The Chargers fin­ished the relay in 10:15.63, just two seconds off the pro­vi­sional mark.

Hillsdale also con­tinued its recent dom­i­nance in the 3000 meter run. This time, it was sophomore Morgan Mor­rison who took the top spot, fin­ishing with a time of 9:11.87.

In the pole vault, freshman Ben Raffin set yet another per­sonal best by clearing a height of 4.87 meters. With this jump, Raffin fin­ished second at the meet and achieved a pro­vi­sional mark just four meets into his col­le­giate career.

The Chargers are heading back to Allendale, Michigan this weekend for the GVSU Big Meet. Events begin Friday in Grand Valley State University’s Kelly Family Sports Center at 10 a.m.