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The men’s and women’s cross country teams pose for a photo during their cross country camp this summer at Rockwell Lake Lodge. r.p. white | courtesy

The key to the Hillsdale College Chargers’ 2019 cross country season will be the depth of their roster of runners.

Hillsdale is bringing in four new freshmen this season, along with the return of senior standout Joey Humes, and his junior team­mates Mark Miller and Jack Shelley. Senior Alex Oquist will also be expected to play a bigger role after enjoying a solid 2019 outdoor track season.

“I think at the front we’re really good and the key, like in any cross season, will be how runners three through seven fit in,” head coach Andrew Towne said. “We’ve got some really expe­ri­enced older guys who are pas­sionate about being their best and some younger guys who can mix in, but I think three through seven are all really capable of helping us.” 

This Sat­urday the Chargers have a chance to showcase their talent and depth as they compete at the Knight Invi­ta­tional hosted by Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. The men’s race begins at 10:45 a.m.

Humes said he’s looking forward to this Saturday’s race, as it’s on a new course. In the past the Chargers usually began their season at Michigan State University’s Spartan Invi­ta­tional, which is a tough race on a golf course with limited shade and plenty of hills.

“I looked at the results from there last year and it looks like it’ll be a faster course,” Humes said. “We’ve put in some good work this summer and it’ll be a good oppor­tunity to showcase what we’ve been doing. I’m really happy that it’s not Michigan State either.” 

Miller echoed Humes, saying he’s hoping to see their hard work pay off.

“I’m excited to see how I will do. I’ve had a good block of training so far so I hope it goes well,” he said. “I think everyone else has too, from what I’ve seen, so I hope they do well too.”

The Chargers were picked to place fourth at the con­ference meet in the 2019 Pre­season G‑MAC Coaches poll. Hillsdale fin­ished fourth last year, with Malone Uni­versity taking first. This year Walsh Uni­versity is picked to win, with Malone in second and Cedarville Uni­versity in third. But none of that matters to Miller.

“They’re wrong,” Miller said. “One, two, and three, we’re coming for you.”