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Junior Alex Oquist com­petes in a home indoor track and field meet. (Todd Lan­caster | Courtesy)

The Hillsdale College Chargers traveled to Nashville, Ten­nessee, for the Van­derbilt Black & Gold Invi­ta­tional on Friday and Sat­urday. The two-day outdoor meet pro­vided the Chargers with oppor­tu­nities to see great com­pe­tition, set per­sonal bests, and earn pro­vi­sional marks.

On Friday, senior Jared Schipper sported his Hillsdale uniform after com­peting unat­tached during the indoor season. He started his senior cam­paign strong with a second-place finish and well-sur­passed pro­vi­sional mark of 5.05 meters in the pole vault. Teammate and freshman Ben Raffin was right behind in third place with a pro­vi­sional mark of his own, clearing 4.90 meters.

“It’s great to have Schipper back,” Towne said. “I was really happy with how he and Raffin did.”

In the other field events, sophomore Ryan Thomsen nearly tied his per­sonal best of 1.96 meters in the high jump. On Sat­urday he jumped 1.95 meters to take sixth place. Thomsen also ran the 110 meter hurdles fin­ishing in 15.59 seconds to take 18th.

Freshman John Baldwin and junior Ian Brown com­peted in the 110 meter hurdles as well. Baldwin took third place in 14.72 and Brown placed 14th in 15.29.

“Not as good as my opener, but still a solid race and it showed me what I needed to work on,” Baldwin said.

Brown teamed up with seniors Levi Wyse and Nathan Pando, and freshman Jacob Schmidt, for the 4-by-100 meter relay. After not prac­ticing their handoffs out­doors and adjusting to new exchange zones, they passed the baton around smoothly for a time of 42.02 seconds, which is already faster than they ran the race last season.

“Although we had con­ser­v­ative takeoff marks and minimal practice with handoffs, we exe­cuted well and were able to take advantage of the warm weather and throw down a great opening time,” Wyse said. “I was really proud of how the guys exe­cuted.”

Pando and Schmidt ran the 200 meter dash as well. Pando started off his outdoor season faster than ever with a time of 22.29, and Schmidt ran 22.86. Sophomore Adam Wade ran his first col­le­giate 200 fin­ishing in 22.79.

Hillsdale’s 4-by-400 meter relay of Wyse, Wade, Schmidt, and Baldwin rounded out the weekend, fin­ishing ninth overall in 3:21.27.

“I thought both relays ran well,” Towne said. “And I think Pando and Wade did a nice job last weekend.”

This weekend, the Chargers will be trav­eling to Louisville, Ken­tucky for the Bel­larmine Invi­ta­tional.