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.