The Hillsdale College Chargers enjoyed another weekend of cooler temperatures and sunshine to put together a strong series of races at the Tiffelberg Invitational at the Hedges Boyer Park in Tiffin, Ohio, on Saturday. They finished third as a team with 70 points, while Heidelberg University took first with 27 points and Tiffin University came in second with 35.
Freshman Isaac Waffle battled hard to the finish to lead the way for the Chargers. As he came around the last turn with about 100 meters to go, he chased down a runner from Heidelberg. The two elbowed their way down the straight away and Waffle beat him to take sixth overall in 27 minutes and 12.8 seconds in his first ever 8000-meter race.
“I was just on the hunt. I didn’t want to lose to him, I don’t like losing close races,” he said. “I knew it was up to me and a tree wasn’t going to get in the way of it. The race was a lot better than I was expecting. I just ran with the other guys for most of it to keep from going out to fast, then just bring it in the last half.”
After missing all of the 2018 cross country season and only racing a few times between the indoor and outdoor track seasons, sophomore James McClure finished 10th overall on Saturday. He said his time of 27:34.6 isn’t quite where he’d like it to be, but he’s pleased with the way his season has begun.
“I was pretty happy with how the race went. I missed all of cross country last year due to injury so for that to be my first cross country meet in two years was pretty great,” McClure said. “I still have a lot of work to do, but that was a great starting point for the season and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”
Finishing 13th overall in his first collegiate race in a familiar course close to home, freshman Sean Hoeft crossed the finish line in 27:49.4. He said he had run on the Hedges Boyer Park course several times in high school.
Junior Charles Holbrook finished in 28:09.1 to take 18th. Freshman Dylan Palmer rounded out the pack of Chargers taking 29th place. He finished in 29:33.1.
The Chargers will take the next two weeks off to train and rest up for their races in early October. The team will be splitting up to run in Lansing, Michigan at the Lansing Community College Invitational and the Joe Paine Invitational in South Bend, Indiana. Both of these meets will be on Saturday, Oct. 4. By splitting the team up, runners are able to compete at different meets while still getting ample rest.