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.