Junior Alex Oquist com­petes in Hills­dale’s 2019 indoor Wide Track Classic. (Todd Lan­caster | Courtesy)

For the Hillsdale College men’s track team, an unfor­tunate setback left the Chargers in an unex­pected place fol­lowing last Saturday’s meet at Grand Valley Uni­versity. 

Sophomore pole vaulter Ben Raffin was injured during com­pe­tition and was diag­nosed with a broken arm. 

“We used it as a good teaching point,” head coach Andrew Towne said. “You don’t know how many oppor­tu­nities you’re going to get, so you need to make sure you’re doing every­thing you can with every oppor­tunity you do get. When some­thing is taken away from you, you start to realize what was there.” 

He said he chal­lenged the rest of the ath­letes, “Your season is still okay, now what are you going to make of it?”

On the track, sophomore Jacob Schmidt ran the 60 meter dash and ended fourth with a time of 7.07 seconds.

Freshman Ian Calvert set an indoor per­sonal record in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:59.40. “I was feeling smooth,” Calvert said. “I didn’t get out as fast as I wanted to, but I con­trolled my energy and got good results.”

In the 200 meter dash, Schmidt took eighth place running 22.54 seconds. Senior Ian Brown set his own per­sonal best in the 200 meter dash with a time of 22.93 seconds. 

The dis­tance crew looked strong as senior Joey Humes ran for second place in the 3000 meter run with a time of 8:26.22. He was fol­lowed by teammate junior Jack Shelley who ran a PR of 8:38.44 and ended ninth. 

Sophomore John Baldwin won the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.20 seconds. Brown ran near his per­sonal best in that event as well with a third place finish and a time of 8.38 seconds. 

To end the day, the 4‑by-400m relay took fourth with a time of 3:23.61. The team was made up of Baldwin, Calvert, Schmidt, and freshman Jacob Ritzer. 

“We were missing two of our best runners because of ham­string problems,” Calvert said. “Con­sid­ering that, we did pretty well.” 

“It was one of those meets where if you just looked at per­for­mances, that’s not what you would want by the end of the year,” Towne said. “But for this point in the year, we’re getting really close to where we need to be.”

Brown said the team will con­tinue to be grateful for the oppor­tu­nities to compete and work hard to stay focused through the remainder of the season. 

“As a program we are con­stantly focused on per­sonal excel­lence rather than indi­vidual per­for­mance,” Brown said. “I am very thankful to God that I have been having a strong season so far, but if this weekend proved any­thing it is that we can only ever do our best and can’t control the results.” 

The Chargers return home this weekend to host the two-day Wide Track Classic in the Biermann Ath­letic Center. Events begin on Friday at noon.