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.