The Hillsdale College women’s track and field team took full advantage of its last home indoor meet to take the necessary steps to prepare for the G‑MAC Conference Championship
“This meet was what we needed across the board,” head coach Andrew Towne said. “Coming off a meet like that, you want to feel ready to go. And I feel like we’re ready to go.”
To start off the meet, junior Kajsa Johansson dominated the competition in the 60 meter dash. She ran a NCAA Division II Provisional Mark with a time of 7.66 seconds.
“The Athlete of the Week was Johansson,” Towne said. “She moved up in the national rankings, and she should be in good shape this weekend.”
Johansson also won the 200 meter dash with another provisional mark of 25.01 seconds, which currently ranks her 19th in nation of NCAA Division II.
“I felt that my races Saturday went well,” Johansson said. “It felt like all the little things were finally starting to come together so that was exciting too. I’m hoping to PR and score as many points as i can at conference.”
Freshman Jillian Roney took second in the 200 meter dash with a personal best of 26.11 seconds. Sophomore Alanna O’Leary finished third in 26.25 and freshman Allison Nimtz took sixth place with a time of 27.39 seconds.
Freshman Judith Allison won the 400 meter dash ending with a time of 59.96 seconds.
Another freshman dominated her event, as Gwynne Riley took first place in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:18.90.
Her teammate, junior Megan Poole ran the race in 2:22.25 and took second place.
Most of the distance athletes took the week off to recover and prepare for conference, but a few Chargers competed in the longer races. Senior Addison Rauch won the event with a time of 5:22.82. Fellow senior Kate Vandersteldt ended in 5th with a time of 5:39.60.
In the 3000 meter run, freshman Natalie Martinson ended fourth running the race in 11:29.55.
Roney also competed in the 60 meter hurdles and dominated in that event with a personal best and an NCAA Division II Provisional Mark. She won with a time of 9.08 seconds. Roney had never even run the 60 meter hurdles before her freshman indoor season, and now she sits in good position to medal in the event at conference.
“I was super mentally prepared for this meet and excited,” Roney said. “I PR’d last week, so I was excited to PR again. I felt throughout the week because of practice and I just went out there and killed my old PR by .2 seconds.”
Coming off injury, Allison also ran the 60 meter hurdles and ended third with a time of 9.51 seconds.
In the field, the Chargers showed up to compete. Sophomore Alexie Day placed second in the high jump with a jump of 1.62 meters. Senior Kathryn Bassette pole vaulted and ended in a solid second place with a season-best vault of 3.45 meters.
Emily Gerdin, a freshman, won the long jump with a leap of 5.31 meters. Her senior teammate, Danielle Jones was right behind her taking the runner-up position with a jump of 4.96 meters. Jones also ended second in the triple jump with a leap of 10.08 meters.
For the throwing squad, sophomore Nikita Maines led the pack. Maines won the shot put with a throw of 12.81 meters and took first in the weight throw as well with a throw of 17.09 meters, an NCAA Division II Provisional Mark.
Sophomore teammate, Michaela Burkhauser placed second in the shot put with a throw of 12.77 meters and earned third in the weight throw tossing 15.91 meters.
Freshman teammate, Katie Weldy also put together a strong day of competition ending seventh (10.57 meters) in the shot put and fourth in the weight throw (14.67 meters).
Overall, excitement for the conference is high and the team feels well prepared.
“I’m really ready. I’m excited to go out there and do what we’ve been preparing for,” Roney said.
The Chargers begin the 2020 G‑MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships in Tiffin, Ohio, on Feb. 28. Events will conclude on the 29.