Hillsdale College - Emily Oren Captures Regional Championship; Chargers Finish 2nd

Hillsdale College - Emily Oren Captures Regional Championship; Chargers Finish 2nd

Provided by Hillsdale College

Qualifying for the NCAA championships used to be a season-long goal for the Hillsdale College women's cross country team. Now, it's just one more step on the path to excellence.

The Chargers, ranked third in the nation, finished second at the Midwest Regional Meet, held in Evansville, Indiana Saturday. The finish automatically qualifies the team to compete at NCAAs, held in Joplin, Missouri, on Nov. 21.

Hillsdale finished with 63 team points, 18 behind regional champ Grand Valley State. Lewis was a distant third at the meet with 150 points, tied with Northern Michigan. Southern Indiana was fifth with 161 and Wisconsin-Parkside sixth with 204 points.

Like the GLIAC meet two weeks ago, this meet was dominated by the Lakers and Chargers. Seven of the top 10 overall runners came from those two programs, with four from Hillsdale. A key to GVSU's win was its number 5 and 6 runners finishing 17th and 22nd overall, compared to the Charger runners, who were 41st and 46th.

Senior Emily Oren won her second straight Midwest Regional championship, crushing the competition with a time of 20:19.47 on the 6K course. She ran the race five seconds faster than Grand Valley State's Gina Patterson, who was the runner-up in the meet. Oren, who was the GLIAC champion by 7 seconds two weeks ago, will now take her shot at becoming the national champion, something no Charger cross country runner has done at any level since Gina VanLaar in 1987 (NAIA).

Four Chargers were named All-Region: Oren, Kristina Galat, Molly Oren and Hannah McIntyre, who were all top-10 runners. Galat was fourth overall with a time of 20:37, while Molly Oren wasn't far behind, placing seventh with a 20:52.64. McIntyre rounded out the group with a 10th-place time of 21:09.63.