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Junior Adam Wier and senior Mark Miller race to the finish at the 2020 G‑MAC Cham­pi­onship in
Tiffin, Ohio, on Sat­urday. Josh Burk­holder | Tiffin Ath­letics

The Hillsdale College men’s cross country team cap­tured fourth at the 2020 G‑MAC Cham­pi­onship meet on Sat­urday, Oct. 24 in Tiffin, Ohio. Junior Adam Wier and senior Mark Miller fin­ished in the top 10 overall to earn First-Team All-Con­ference honors to lead the way.

Walsh Uni­versity stole the com­pe­tition with a score of 21, beating second and third place teams Malone and Cedarville, who had 78 and 91 points, respec­tively. The Chargers fell in fourth by just three points, fin­ishing with 94. 

Wier and Miller worked together to capture sixth and seventh place, respec­tively. They crossed the line within one second of each other, fin­ishing in 25:33.7 and 25:34.3, both of which were season-best times. 

“I always wish I placed higher, but I thought I raced well,” Miller said. “I got out hard, settled in at a good pace, made a move around 5k, and kicked at the end. I also thought the guys did really well.”

Fin­ishing third for Hillsdale and 24th overall, senior Morgan Mor­rison crossed the line in 25:28.2, which was a season best for him as well. Sophomore Mark Sprague fin­ished 29th in 26:44.5. 

“It was my last race of my senior year and it was a little dis­ap­pointing just because of how it com­pared to how well I did last season,” Mor­rison said. “But I felt like the most important thing was that I really went for it. From when the gun went off, I gave my best and left it all out there.” 

Mor­rison said he found this season espe­cially chal­lenging in terms of staying focused. 

“I came in with a foot injury so I was a little behind in my training,” he said. “There also at least like three or four points when we were looking at the cir­cum­stances and we were like, ‘We’re not going to have a season this year.’ So that made it really hard to stay men­tally engaged throughout the really long season.”

Wier agreed and said he was also proud of the team’s efforts.

“I am so glad we were able to race this season at all,” he said. “Given every­thing we’ve been through in the past 6 months, I am really proud of the guys around me and how they responded.”

In his first col­le­giate con­ference cham­pi­onship, freshman Alex Mitchell took 35th overall with a time of 26:56.8. His time on Sat­urday was just three seconds off of his per­sonal best time in the 8k, despite having COVID-19 three weeks prior.

“I was really happy with how I did. I had a hard time coming back from COVID. I had lost a lot of strength and I probably didn’t do as well as I could’ve done,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t miss any days of training, but it did have a little bit of a longer effect on me.”

To round out the scoring for the Chargers, sophomore Isaac Waffle battled across the finish line to take 51st overall in 27:18.8, which was nearly a three-way tie with a pair of runners crossing just mil­liseconds before and after him. 

“I think ini­tially we were pretty dis­heartened by it, but the mood quickly turned to one of excitement for track,” Mor­rison said. “We don’t dwell on our defeats, that’s one thing coach has always said. ‘That doesn’t define you, it’s what we’re going to do moving forward.’”