The men’s cross country team begins a race in 2020
Courtesy | Hillsdale College Ath­letic Department

After the NCAA Division II Cham­pi­onships were can­celled last fall, the Hillsdale College Men’s Cross-Country team is eager to punch their ticket to this year’s cham­pi­onships in St. Leo, Florida.

The Men’s team will have three regular season invi­ta­tionals before the G‑MAC Cham­pi­onships in Cedarville, Ohio on Oct. 23. Their season will begin on Sep­tember 4th with the Calvin Knight Invite in Grand Rapids, Michigan, fol­lowed by the Lucian Rosa Invi­ta­tional in Kenosha, Wis­consin. The Chargers will finish up the regular season with Joe Piane Invi­ta­tional in Notre Dame, Indiana. 

 The Chargers are returning six of their top seven runners from last year. Those six were a part of the 4th place team at the GMAC Cham­pi­onships last fall. Leading the charge this year for the men’s team are first-team All GMAC runners Adam Weir and Mark Miller. 

“I’m most looking forward to getting to compete with the rest of my team and chase after our goals as a com­plete unit this year,” Weir said regarding the upcoming season, “We are mostly trying to become a deeper unit this year and build a team capable of com­peting at a high level both in the region and on the national stage.”

Other returning runners include Sopho­mores Sean Hoeft, Mark Sprague, and Dylan Palmer, as well as Freshman Micah Van­derkooi and Alex Mitchell. Mitchell, a second-year runner from Holland, Michigan, had nothing but pos­itive things to say about this upcoming season.

“I’m looking forward to taking a step forward as an indi­vidual and as a team.” Mitchell said, “I have more con­fi­dence after a year of college running and we’re returning all but one of our guys from last year and have a really tal­ented freshmen class.”

Head Coach Andrew Towne, who is coming into his 8th season coaching the Chargers, is also very eager to coach his young, tal­ented team. 

 “I’m really excited to see how our team develops and grows. Watching the fruits of their labor payoff is one of the most rewarding parts of being a coach,” Towne said.

Towne also men­tioned how important con­stantly improving phys­i­cally will be for the team this season.

 “Improving fitness and physical con­dition is some­thing all cross-country pro­grams focus on,” Towne said. “We pursue that at the highest level in con­junction with devel­oping our mental, psy­cho­logical, and emo­tional approach to our sport.  If both of those areas are improved, we will be a better team than a year ago.” 

The men will begin their season at the Calvin Knight Invi­ta­tional in Grand Rapids on Sep­tember 4th.