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The Hillsdale College track and field team will travel to Tiffin, OH for its first meet of the season on Dec. 4 (Courtesy | Hillsdale College Ath­letics)

The Hillsdale College men’s and women’s track and field teams are scheduled to travel to the Uni­versity of Tiffin on Dec. 4, for what will be the team’s first meet of the Fall season. The meet will be the first for the Chargers since the Indoor Track and Field G‑MAC Cham­pi­onship back in Feb­ruary when the women’s team took first and the men’s placed third. 

Hillsdale will compete against con­ference rivals Walsh Uni­versity, Uni­versity of Tiffin, and Uni­versity of Findlay. The Uni­versity of Ashland, which will be joining the G‑MAC next year, will also compete. The meet will sep­arate track and field events with field ath­letes scheduled to compete in the morning to be fol­lowed by the track events in the afternoon. 

Both teams have par­tic­i­pated in two scrim­mages this season, but have been limited in their ability to practice and compete due to stag­gered COVID-19 cases among members of each team. During the first scrimmage, only sprinters com­peted, but a few weeks later the rest of the team joined with field events and mid-dis­tance runners included in the mix.

After an extended period of quar­antine for numerous runners, the team is once again healthy and ready to compete. Cur­rently no members of either team are in quar­antine due to sickness or contact tracing. 

Under NCAA Division II COVID-19 restric­tions, G‑MAC teams are required to ran­domly test 25% of their members before com­peting in con­ference meets. All of the Chargers’ required tests returned neg­ative, clearing the teams to travel in their entirety.

Hillsdale’s women’s team looks to con­tinue their success coming off of a Spring 2020 G‑MAC Cham­pi­onship. Having grad­uated a number of standout ath­letes in the spring, the team will look to younger ath­letes to fill the gaps left by their pre­de­cessors. Abbie Porter, Arena Lewis, Kate Van­der­stelt, Addison Rauch, and Kathryn Bas­sette all hung up their spikes in the spring, capping out­standing college ath­letic careers.  

Several con­ference cham­pions will return to compete in the Dec. 5 meet. Most notable among the returning women Chargers are seniors Christina Sawyer and Kajsa Johansson, junior Nikita Maines, and the G‑MAC Cham­pi­onship 4‑by-400 meter relay squad of junior Alanna O’Leary, and sopho­mores Jillian Roney, Judith Allison, and Dakota Stamm. 

The men’s team also lost a number of out­standing ath­letes in the Spring. Most notably of these grad­u­a­tions include All-American Joey Humes, and standout dis­tance runner Alex Oquist. Luckily for the Chargers, however, a few senior runners decided to stay for a fifth year, in hopes of com­pleting a full and final season after having their spring 2020 season can­celed. Returning seniors include Ryan Thomsen, Jack Shelley, Mark Miller, and Ian Brown; all of whom placed in their events at the G‑MAC Indoor Cham­pi­onship earlier this year.