Hillsdale - 12 Chargers Headed to NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
Provided by Hillsdale
A dozen athletes from the Hillsdale College men's and women's indoor track teams will descend upon Birmingham, Alabama next week to represent the school at the 2017 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The action gets going Thursday, March 9 and concludes Saturday, March 11. A complete schedule can be found in the link at the top of this release.
Two Charger men, already with All-American credentials to their credit, will head to Birmingham to compete against the best. Caleb Gatchell was the 15th qualifier in the mile run, with a season-best time of 4:06.31. Gatchell will be part of a competitive and tightly packed field. The top seed in the mile qualified with a time of 4:01.32, just five seconds faster than Gatchell, who's time was 15th out of 16 total qualifiers in the event.
Jared Schipper, no stranger to national-level events, will return to this meet as the 2015 national runner-up in the pole vault event. The 2016 and 2017 GLIAC indoor champion, Schipper qualified seventh in his event with a season-best mark of 5.13 meters. The top Division II performance this year was 5.41 meters, putting Schipper oh-so-close to a potential national championship height.
Schipper has qualified for NCAAs in both indoor and outdoor every year he's been eligible.
Ten women will represent the Chargers at NCAAs this year, a group made up of some reliable and talented veterans along with some promising newcomers.
Leading the group is junior Hannah McIntyre, who qualified in three events but will participate in two. She was the GLIAC champion in the 3000 meter run, and has a qualifying time of 9:28.88. Entering NCAAs, she has the nation's fifth-best time in the event. McIntyre also qualified in the 5000 meter run, where she was the GLIAC runner-up to teammate Molly Oren.
Oren will look to add to her long list of All-American honors when she competes in the 5000 meter run at NCAAs. Her qualifying time was 9:31.55, which ranks her eighth in the nation.
The Chargers' distance medley relay team qualified with the 13th-best time in the country, and while Oren and McIntyre were on the qualifying team, Hillsdale's DMR squad will be made up of Hannah Watts, Oren, Allysen Eads and Ashlee Moran. Eads and Moran have steadily improved throughout the season and exemplify Hillsdale's impressive depth across a multitude of running events.
Oren was part of the 2016 national champion DMR team.
Allison Duber qualified for the 400 meter dash individually, along with teammate Victoria Wichman. Wichman goes into the meet with the conference's second-fastest qualifying time, of 55.62 seconds.
All season, the Chargers have deployed a tough duo in the weight throw, and both throwers will compete at NCAAs. Dana Newell, the new school record-holder in the event, qualified with a throw of 19.08 meters. Teammate Rachael Tolsma wasn't far behind with a qualifying throw of 18.42 meters.
Senior Alexandra Whitford, a mainstay in the pole vault, put together her best indoor season in 2016-17 and was rewarded with a berth at nationals. She set a personal best with a mark of 3.85 meters last month, which was good for ninth nationally. She was the GLIAC runner-up in the pole vault, and will be seeking her first All-American honor next weekend.