The Hillsdale women’s cross country team runs at the Slippery Rock Uni­versity Pre-National meet earlier this season. Slippery Rock Uni­versity | courtesy

The Hillsdale College women’s cross country team took second place at the Lucian Rosa Invi­ta­tional in Kenosha, Wis­consin. Sophomore Liz Wamsley scored third place overall with a time of 22:40.2, fol­lowed by junior Claire McNally taking seventh place with a time of 22:59.1.

McNally said while it wasn’t a record-breaking run for her, she is proud of how she did, espe­cially during the beginning of the race.

“I thought it was a solid per­for­mance for me,” McNally said. “For where we’re at in the season and the terrain that we were working with, I was really happy.”

The course had more hills than the one the Chargers ran on last week. McNally said her coach pre­pared the team by warning them about the hill at the beginning of the race and the various hills at the end.

“The last mile was really tough,” McNally said. “It was kind of like winding through the woods and hills were just sneaking out of nowhere. I was really tired by the last mile so that was a dif­ficult part.”

McNally was also proud of herself for fol­lowing the plan that the coaches had laid out prior to the race.

“Even in the last mile when I was really hurting I was happy because I was able to hold on pretty well and not fall back or give into it,” McNally said.

Head coach Andrew Towne said he was pleased with the team’s per­for­mance, and that he wants the team to be able to demon­strate what they’ve learned from their pre­vious races.

“One of the things we’re always looking for is improvement,” Towne said. “We def­i­nitely still have more that we can improve upon, but it was markedly better than the first one. We always want to compete really well, regardless of where we’re at in the training cycle, and I thought overall we did a better job with that.”

Towne said Wamsley, who was the first to finish among the Chargers, has bounced back from her injury last season, and is now excelling.

“She’s someone that had a really good freshman year, fin­ished up the outdoor season on an injury so she didn’t get a full chance to show who she was, but she’s come right back and picked up where she left off last cross country season,” Towne said.

One of the team’s goals for upcoming races is for each runner to keep about 10 seconds behind the teammate ahead of her.

“One of the things we talk a lot about as a team is trying to run outside of yourself,” McNally said. “I can see my team­mates ahead of me and I know they’re right behind me and trying to think about them and how hard they’re working and wanting to work hard for them.”

For their next meet, the team will be splitting to race at Notre Dame and Lansing Com­munity College on Oct 1.

Towne said the team is working to prepare for the cham­pi­onship season.

“We just want to con­tinue to improve,” Towne said. “This is our last regular season meet before cham­pi­onship season, so ideally we put together a really good per­for­mance that shows what we’ve learned each week but also instills a lot of con­fi­dence as we move into cham­pi­onship season.”