January 11, 2013 - There are plenty of talented athletes on the Hillsdale College men's track team who will parlay successful high school track-only careers into successful track-only college careers. But Friday night, the men's team received two eye-opening performances from athletes who began their college career in other sports.
Freshmen Todd Frickey (football) and Alex Mexicotte (baseball) have joined the track team for the first time in the winter 2012-13 season, and in their debuts Friday night at Saginaw Valley State University, they performed impressively, going 1-2 in the 60 meter dash to provide a highlight for the team at the Doug Hansen Open, held inside the James O'Neill Arena on SVSU's campus. Junior Maurice Jones completed the 1-2-3 sweep in the event for the Chargers.
Head coach Jeff Forino singled out the team's freshmen, as well as expressing how happy he was with the entire team in its first meet back from an extended holiday break.
"The meet went really well for a first meet back after break," Forino said. "We really used it to knock some rust off after the long break. I am really pleased that the four freshman performed so well. We are looking forward to more good things out of these young guys in the future."
Hillsdale athletes hovered around first or second place in most of the events Friday night. Elliot Murphy and Matthew Raffin finished 2-3 in the 60 meter hurdles, finishing 0.19 seconds apart.
Matthew Perkins delivered a win in the 3000 meter run for the Chargers, beating the competition by nine seconds with his time of 8:44.43. He was later joined by Jones, Raffin and Jared VanDyke in the first-place 4x400 relay teamm, who won in 3:27.68. The Chargers showed exciting depth in the relay thanks to their "B" team placing third out of six teams, a group that featured Mexicotte, Michael Shaw, Zach Meyer and Justin Fawley.
Brett Dailey and John Banovetz led another strong effort from the team's throwers, taking the top two places in the weight throw, each exceeding 16 meters. Banovetz picked himself up a first place in the shot put, winning with a throw of 16.11 meters.
Freshman Nick Shuster, a second-generation Charger and second member of his family to compete at Hillsdale (with sister Kaleigh, a volleyball player) took first place with a PR mark of 1.98 meters in the high jump.
Hillsdale will compete in the two-day Gladstein Invitational next Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18-19.