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

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.