Junior Alex Oquist com­petes in Hills­dale’s 2019 indoor Wide Track Classic. (Todd Lan­caster | Courtesy)

The Hillsdale College Chargers com­peted across the country as they tune up before the G‑MAC Cham­pi­onship next weekend. While many ath­letes traveled to Ashland, Ohio, on Sat­urday, several others com­peted in Cal­i­fornia at Azusa Pacific and the Long Beach State Uni­ver­sities.

Sophomore Ryan Thomsen got things started in Cal­i­fornia on Tuesday as he com­peted in his first full decathlon of the season. With good weather and great com­pe­tition, he was able to score 6476 points in 10 events — just four points shy of his per­sonal best.

Thomsen won the hep­tathlon in the G‑MAC Indoor Cham­pi­onship and will look repeat that success in the decathlon out­doors. He is cur­rently ranked first in the con­ference and no. 21 in Division II.

On Thursday, junior Joey Humes raced the 5000 meter run under the lights at Azusa Pacific. He ran a season-best time of 14:29.37. After winning the mile and the 3000 meter run at the indoor cham­pi­onship, Humes will look to defend his title as one of the best dis­tance runners in the con­ference.

“That race in Cal­i­fornia didn’t go so hot,” Humes said. “It was a very physical race with a lot of pushing and shoving. I’m feeling pretty strong going into GMACs, and I’m planning on doing the 1500.”

The pole vaulters com­peted on Friday and Sat­urday as well. Freshman Ben Raffin cleared 4.80 meters at Azusa to take 13th out of 42 ath­letes. On Sat­urday, senior Jared Schipper placed seventh out of more than 70 com­petitors at Long Beach State. His mark of 5.32 meters is his second best height of all time. Schipper is still ranked first in NCAA Division II.

At the Alumni Open at Ashland Uni­versity, the Chargers con­tinued to improve with sea­sonal and lifetime best per­for­mances.

Leading the way for the Chargers was senior Nathan Pando. After beginning the outdoor season well ahead of last year, he earned a sig­nif­icant per­sonal best time in the 200 meter dash on Sat­urday. His time of 21.82 was nearly two-tenths of a second better than his pre­vious best, and he took second place.

Junior Ian Brown also recorded a per­sonal best in the 200 meter dash. He fin­ished in ninth in 22.58, just ahead of senior Levi Wyse who fin­ished in 22.60.

“That was the rematch between me and Levi, he beat me the first time and i beat him the second time,” Brown said. “It’s very fun. It’s a good teammate rivalry, but not really a rivalry, it’s just kind of funny.”

Pando and Wyse ran the 100 meter dash along with freshman Jacob Schmidt. Pando earned a season-best time of 11.02 en route to his third place finish. Schmidt fin­ished three-hun­dredths of a second shy of his per­sonal record of 11.10 seconds, and Wyse fin­ished in 11.39. They came in fifth and eighth, respec­tively.