Hillsdale College - NCAA DIVISION II INDOOR TRACK FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW
Provided by Hillsdale College
If two is company and three is a crowd, then 20 might qualify as a friendly takeover.
The Hillsdale College men's and women's track teams are sending a total of 20 athletes – 10 men and 10 women – to next weekend's NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Pittsburg State University in Kansas.
A strength of both squads has been in the relays, and three of a possible four relay teams will be in action at the best Division II meet in the country.
Seniors Emily Oren and Corinne Zehner return to the distance medley relay team that won the Division II national championship last year. They will be joined by Molly Oren, who was third in the outdoor steeplechase last year, and Hannah Watts, making her first appearance at an NCAA event.
Senior Kristina Galat was a two-time runner-up at last year's national meet, and qualified in both the 3000 meter and 5000 meter runs. Her points were very valuable in helping the Chargers finish second in the nation at that meet.
Fellow distance runner Hannah McIntyre is no stranger to NCAA competition, and will join Galat in both the 3000 and 5000. This will be McIntyre's fifth national meet experience, including outdoor track and cross country. Molly Oren also qualified in the 3000.
At the opposite end of the experience scale, freshman Kristina Freeman will participate in the high jump. She leaped into the NCAA's top 10 in her first meet of the calendar year and will aim for All-American honors at her NCAA debut.
Junior Sarah Benson has been able to stay healthy this indoor season, and produced more points for the Chargers than she had in any other season in her career. She qualified in the long jump.
Throwers Dana Newell and Rachel Tolsma will represent the Chargers in the weight throw. Newell was a hammer thrower at the NCAA outdoor championships last May, while Tolsma shattered the school record in the indoor weight throw at GLIACs last weekend.
Capping the Charger women qualifiers is Emily Oren, who is already a four-time national champion between indoor and outdoor track. She can further cement her legacy as one of the finest in Division II annals at her final indoor meet of her storied career. She qualified in three vents, the DMR, the mile and the 3000 meter run.
On the men's side, both relay teams will compete with the best in Division II. The distance medley relay team of Caleb Gatchell, Noah Hiser, Tanner Schwannecke and Anthony Wondaal will compete for Hillsdale. Hiser was an alternate on the 4x400 relay team at the outdoor championships last spring, while the other three will make their NCAA debuts.
This year's 4x400 relay team will be made up of Colby Clark, Lane White, Ty Etchemendy and David Chase, all of whom have NCAA experience in the past. White was an individual All-American in the 400 meter dash last year.
Sophomore Jared Schipper is the NCAA's No. 2-ranked pole vaulter, having set a GLIAC meet record last weekend by clearing 5.27 meters. He was the NCAA indoor runner-up in the same event last year and is hoping to become Hillsdale's second NCAA indoor national champion.
Junior Joseph Newcomb will travel with the team as an alternate.