The Hillsdale College men’s and women’s cross country teams will give fans of Charger athletics something to cheer for this weekend as they compete at the G‑MAC Cross Country Championship on Oct. 24. The meet will begin with the women’s 6k race at 9:30 a.m., followed by the men’s 8k race at 10:15 a.m. in Tiffin, Ohio.
Nine of the 11 G‑MAC men’s cross country teams will be represented at Saturday’s meet, along with 10 of the 12 women’s teams. Lake Erie College and Trevecca Nazarene University will not be competing.
On the women’s side, the Chargers prove to be favorites, though it won’t be an easy win. Senior Maryssa Depies and junior Sophia Maeda still hold the top two times in the conference so far this season, but behind them are runners from Cedarville University and Walsh University. For the last three years, since Hillsdale’s inaugural year as a G‑MAC member, Cedarville, Walsh, and Hillsdale have held the top four spots in the conference. The Chargers won in 2017, Walsh stole the title in 2018, and the Chargers reclaimed their victory in 2019 and are looking to repeat again this year.
“On the girls side everyone is healthy and no one is hurt, so we’re excited and ready to go,” senior Christina Sawyer said.
For the men, the Chargers have had a steady presence near the top of the conference. In 2017 and 2018, they finished fourth, and last season, they snatched second. They are returning four of their top five runners from last year’s team. They also brought on a few freshmen looking to make an impact, notably Alex Mitchell, who has been a part of Hillsdale’s top five so far this season.
“We are feeling confident and ready to go,” junior Adam Wier said. “Everyone is excited to get out there for one more race this season. I am fired up to get out there with my boys and go to work.”
The men are coming off of an excellent performance at the G‑MAC Indoor Track and Field championship, but after losing their outdoor season, continuing a prolonged summer of training, and sustaining several injuries, they’ve lost some of that momentum. They are looking to build off their win three weeks ago at the Tiffleburg Invite and establish their mark as conference leaders.
“Everyone is very confident, and also grateful for the opportunity to race. It’s finally here, so we are looking forward to getting out what we’ve been putting in since summer training,” senior Mark Miller said. “The guys all look great during training, so I know we’re all prepared to step up this Saturday and race the way we’ve trained.”
Although teams won’t be competing for a chance to advance on to the Midwest Regional meet or the NCAA Division II Championship meet, the G‑MAC Championship meet will still include its traditional awards and honors. The G‑MAC is one of only five NCAA Division II conferences to hold a cross country championship this fall.
The G‑MAC will still award a team trophy to the winners along with medals to the top 20 finishers who will make up the all-conference team. There will also still be the runner, coach, and freshman of the year awards. All of these honors will be given out on both the men’s and women’s teams. The event can be livestreamed on the Great Midwest Digital Network, found at www.greatmidwestsports.com