Sophomore Calli Townsend hurdles during Hills­dale’s 2019 Wide Track Classic. (Todd Lan­caster | Courtesy)

The Hillsdale College Chargers entered the outdoor season as the favorites to win the G‑MAC. After a strong per­for­mance at last weekend’s Bel­larmine Invi­ta­tional in Louisville, Ken­tucky, the Chargers seem poised to match their potential. Hillsdale com­peted well against strong NCAA Division II com­pe­tition.

The dis­tance runners started Friday’s events with a bang. Fresh off her All-American indoor season, senior Ally Eads kicked off her outdoor season by winning the 3000 meter steeple­chase. Her time of 11 minutes and 4.32 seconds blew away the com­pe­tition, and stands as the fastest time in the G‑MAC this season by 49 seconds.  

Sophomore Maryssa Depies also fin­ished well in the 5000 meter run, taking second with a time of 17:14.53. Depies also stands atop the G‑MAC in her event, reg­is­tering a faster time than anyone else by more than seven seconds. 

In the field, freshman Emma Shea hit a per­sonal best in the javelin, throwing 31.91 meters. For Shea, com­peting in this new event has been a healthy chal­lenge.

“I like it because it’s not a heavy object to throw and the flight pattern is really cool to watch,” Shea said. “You can tell imme­di­ately if your throw is good or not and the run up is very inter­esting, a mixture of throws and jumps, like the rhythm of it. It’s really sat­is­fying when you learn how to do it.”

After improving her dis­tance by six meters in just two meets, Shea seems ready to build on her pre­vious improvement. She said she’s looking forward to con­tinued success in the event.

“Hope­fully once I get my block step and run up approach correct, it’ll go a lot further so I’m really excited for how it could go,” Shea said.

Sat­urday started off with a strong mid-dis­tance per­for­mance from sophomore Megan Poole. Poole fin­ished first in the 1500 meter run in a field of 17 runners, setting a per­sonal best with a time of 4:57.59. 

The Chargers had some of their strongest per­for­mances from the sprint events. Junior Abbie Porter took first in the 400 meter dash with a com­fortable two second cushion. Her time of 56.82 seconds was a lifetime best and reg­isters as the fastest time in the G‑MAC this season. 

“I was really happy with my races. I felt like I moved really well through the first 200 con­sid­ering there was a pretty strong head wind,” Porter said. “That set me up well to do well in the second 200 because I nor­mally struggle with making the first half fast enough to finish the race with PR.”  

Porter also ran well in the 200 meter dash, fin­ishing in seventh in 26.18, just one-hun­dredth of a second off her per­sonal best.

Sophomore Calli Townsend con­tinued to perform well in the 400 meter hurdles, taking second with a time of 1:03.62, just three-tenths off her PR.

In the 4‑by-400 meter relay, freshmen Melanie Boehm and Alanna O’Leary joined Porter and Townsend to run a season best time of 3:58.36 on their way to a first place finish.

Hillsdale will be back in action in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Oliver Nikoloff Invi­ta­tional. Events will begin tomorrow and con­clude Sat­urday.