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Sophomore Adam Wier races at Calvin College (Calli Townsend | Col­legian)

The Hillsdale College Chargers put together an impressive pair of races to earn 10 new per­sonal best times at their recent meets on Oct. 4. Two groups split up to run at the Uni­versity of Notre Dame’s Joe Paine Invi­ta­tional and the Lansing Com­munity College Invi­ta­tional, where they fin­ished 13th and 5th as a team, respec­tively. 

At Notre Dame, the Chargers ran against a large field of Division I teams, with Utah Valley, Miami of Ohio, and Kansas State fin­ishing first through third. More than 150 runners com­peted in the 5‑mile race, which is .03 miles longer than the typical 8K race they’re used to running. 

Senior Joey Humes showed he can compete with some of the best as he fin­ished second overall with a time of 24:14.8. After adding some extra mileage to his training, Humes is right on track with his per­sonal best time and is leading the con­ference. He earned the G‑MAC Cross Country Athlete of the Week award, which is his second of the season. 

Junior Mark Miller and sophomore Adam Wier each ran their best times to take 50th, and 57th, respec­tively. Miller’s time of 25:22.23 beats his pre­vious best by 12 seconds, and Wier dom­i­nated his old record by more than a minute. He fin­ished in 25:25.15. 

“I was really nervous beforehand and everyone was going to go out really fast, but then I just got into it,” Wier said. “I just felt like I was rolling and it was a really good course, a really good day, and I thought we were eating people up the whole time. We placed well and ran fast.”

The next few Chargers all fin­ished within 30 seconds of each other, but ranging from 91st to 119th place, showing the depth of com­pe­tition in this race. Junior Jack Shelley was the first in this pack as he fin­ished in 25:54.56. Fellow junior Morgan Mor­rison took 107th in 26:12.89, and senior Alex Oquist came in at 26:26.35. All three runners beat their own per­sonal records.

Freshman Mark Sprague fin­ished 142nd overall in the biggest race of his career, giving him a good taste of what the upcoming cham­pi­onship season will be like. He handled it well with a new per­sonal-best time of 27:15.80. 

At the Lansing Com­munity College Invi­ta­tional, the Chargers raced the unusual 5‑mile dis­tance as well.

Senior Charles Hol­brook led the way with a big PR of 27:06.8. He fin­ished 30th overall out of 211 runners. 

Freshmen Isaac Waffle and Sean Hoeft fin­ished next for the Chargers, each beating their own per­sonal best times. Waffle came in 33rd with a time of 27:09.6, and Hoeft took 50th in 27:37.5. 

“We’re starting to increase mileage and in our workouts we’re doing more reps, so I think we’re just getting ready for the longer dis­tances,” Hoeft said. “ I felt a lot better this time now that I had a race under my belt. I was more pre­pared and knew what to expect a little bit.”

While dealing with a slight injury, sophomore James McClure managed to run right around his per­sonal best time, taking 51st in 27:39.7. He was fol­lowed by freshman Dylan Palmer in 103rd with a PR of 29:05.4. 

While the Chargers haven’t made major changes to their training to see their times drop, a few things have helped them feel strong and faster, according to assistant coach R.P. White.

“There’s always tweaks from year to year, but I haven’t totally flipped the script. We’ve done a lot of strength stuff, a lot of stuff out at Hayden Park, which obvi­ously pre­pares you to be pretty strong,” White said. “We’ve been more selective with our races too. We’re not racing as much so I feel like we can put a little bit more emphasis each time that we’re out there.” 

With a couple more weeks of this solid training, the Chargers will be ready to roll at the Con­ference Cham­pi­onship meet on Oct. 26 in Pepper Pike, Ohio. 

“I think those races gave our team a big con­fi­dence boost heading into the post­season. I’d say we have a great shot,” Wier said. “It makes me feel like I’m ready to perform well there and place high.”