Hillsdale College - Charger Women Take 3rd at NCAA Outdoor Championships
Provided by Hillsdale
For the third time in the past two years, the Hillsdale College women's track team attained its goal of being a podium team.
The Chargers got another handful of All-American performances, finishing third at this weekend's NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships with 45 team points. The top four teams at the conclusion of each NCAA track championship are recognized as podium teams.
A total of nine different athletes on the team picked up All-American honors with a variety of terrific performances across all three days of the event, which took place at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Pittsburg State won the national championship with 52 points, while St. Augustine took second with 51. Grand Valley State finished tied for fourth with 36 points, nine behind the Chargers.
Concluding perhaps the finest career in Hillsdale College athletics history, senior Emily Oren firmly established her place in history by scoring 26 points by herself.
Friday night, Oren won her sixth individual national championship with a victory in the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 10:06.75. That same race provided one of the meet's emotional high points.
Finishing runner-up in the steeplechase was Emily's younger sister Molly Oren, whose time of 10:11.4 was a career-best and represented her best-ever individual finish at an NCAA event. The sisters embraced after the race, content in the knowledge that the two best female steeplechasers in the nation reside within the same family.
Saturday, Emily Oren captured her ninth overall national championship and seventh individually by winning the 1500 meter run. She hung with a tight pack early in the race, but with around 200 meters to go, she made her move and pulled out in front in a way only she knows how to do. She won the race in 4:20.61, a race that featured three GLIAC athletes in the top eight.
The final race of Emily Oren's career came Saturday evening in the 5000, where she took third with a time of 16:37.41. Having to run a 1500 and a 5000 in the same championship-level day, in the Florida heat, is an incredible challenge for anyone at any level of the sport, and Oren did herself and her team proud by picking up six crucial points that helped secure the third-place overall finish for the Chargers.
Emily Oren's individual point total of 26 would have placed her 10th among all teams that competed at the NCAA championships this year.
Back on Thursday afternoon, Dana Newell clinched the first All-American honor by the team by finishing eighth in the hammer throw with a mark of 57.64 meters. This was Newell's first career outdoor All-American honor in her second such appearance.
Two distance runners no strangers to All-American recognition are senior Kristina Galat and sophomore Hannah McIntyre, and both added to their hefty trophy cases this weekend. They finished right next to one another in Thursday night's 10,000 meter final, with Galat taking sixth, McIntyre seventh. Saturday, McIntyre placed seventh in the 5000 meter run with a time of 16:49.25.
Another Charger veteran who broke through this weekend was senior hurdler Corinne Zehner. A two-year team captain and school record-holder, Zehner earned her first individual All-American honor in Saturday's 400 meter hurdle final, recording a time of 1:00.98, good for seventh overall. Zehner has been part of two national championship-winning distance medley relay teams during the indoor season, but was able to stand alone in her accomplishments on the podium in Florida Saturday night.
Zehner's final race of her fantastic career came in the final event of the weekend, the 4x400 relay. She ran a terrific first leg for the team that eventually took eighth overall. She was joined in the relay by Victoria Wichman, Sarah Benson and Allison Duber.
In 2014-15, Hillsdale's women's track team finished second in the NCAA during indoor season and eighth in outdoor. In 2015-16, the Chargers notched a second-place finish during indoor season and took third at the outdoor championships. An unbelievable run, led by head coach Andrew Towne, regional assistant coach of the year Joe Lynn and a group of athletes who were relentless from start to finish.