The Hillsdale College Chargers competed last Saturday at the Hillsdale Invitational. In the first home outdoor meet of the season, Hillsdale dominated in all phases of competition as the team continues to improve.
Senior Dana Newell led the way for the Chargers in the hammer throw. Newell set the tone, throwing a distance of 54.01 meters to take first place. This distance is good enough to meet the NCAA Division II provisional standard, a good start as Newell looks to return to the Division II national meet. With her performance on Saturday, Newell also claims the best distance in the G-MAC this season.
In light of her performance, Newell was awarded the G-MAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week for the first time in her career. Newell is the second from Hillsdale to win a weekly award.
Hillsdale also saw a strong performance from freshman thrower Nikita Maines. After a strong indoor season, Maines set a provisional mark in the shot put with a throw of 14.13 meters and finished second at the meet.
Freshman Michaela Burkhauser set two new personal records in the shot put and discus throws as well. She won discus with a mark of 44.76 meters, and took fourth in shot put, throwing for 12.99 meters. Burkhauser has improved in shot put in the past three weeks, with a previous outdoor record of 11.43 meters.
On the track, the Chargers performed well in the sprint events. In the 400 meter dash, freshman Alanna O’Leary tied her personal best of 58.64 seconds to finish in second, while freshman Melanie Boehm finished just behind her in fourth with a time of 59.97 seconds.
“It’s promising for the rest of the season,” O’Leary said. “My indoor season wasn’t the greatest, so it’s definitely given me a lot more confidence and motivation to keep on doing what I’ve been doing.
In the 400 meter hurdles, sophomore Calli Townsend finished in 1:05.47 to take first in the meet, finishing ahead of the next closest runner by over five seconds.
In the distance events, junior Kate Vanderstelt separated herself from the competition in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Vanderstelt finished in 11:50.96. And in the 1,500 meter run, the Chargers took fifth through eighth place, led by freshmen Claire McNally and Sophia Maeda. This was McNally’s first time competing in the event. She finished in 4:50.80, just ahead of Maeda who finished in 4:51.92.
The Chargers will split up this weekend as some head to California to compete at Azusa Pacific University and Mt. San Antonio College, and others will travel to Ashland, Ohio, for the Ashland Alumni Open. Competitions for both meets begin on Friday and continue Saturday.