February 24, 2013 - Hillsdale College sophomore Joshua Mirth has enjoyed a 2012-13 academic year that's been tough to top.
In the fall, he steadily improved throughout cross country season to culminate in his first career All-American honor. He added to that in a great way at this weekend's 2013 GLIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Mirth won the 5000 meter run with a time of 14:47.34. That time is just .25 seconds off the NCAA provo mark. He tallied 10 of the 14.5 points accumulated by the Charger men on the first day of the meet, being held at Grand Valley State University.
He later came from behind in dramatic fashion to win the 3000 meter run with a time of 8:20.84. That time smashed the old GLIAC meet record in that event by 12 seconds. He was neck-and-neck with Malone's Ryan Roush down the stretch, but Mirth found an extra gear and won the race by two seconds.
Following the conclusion of the meet Sunday, Mirth was singled out by conference coaches by being voted the GLIAC Track Athlete of the Meet. The award goes to the person considered the top runner among all teams in all running events at the conference championship meet.
As a team, Hillsdale placed fifth at the GLIAC meet with 61 points. Grand Valley State was the men's GLIAC champions with 191.5 points.
Joining Mirth with a GLIAC blue ribbon was junior Maurice Jones, who turned in a spectacular performance in the 400 meter dash. He set a new GLIAC Meet and Kelly Family Events Center record with a time of 47.34 seconds in the race, taking first. The time was also an NCAA automatic qualifying mark. Jones racked up some more points for the Chargers with his third-place finish in the 200 meter dash. His time of 21.94 seconds was an NCAA provo time.
Freshman Todd Frickey finished in third in the 60 meter dash, becoming a point-scorer for Hillsdale in his conference meet debut. Matthew Perkins turned in another strong performance in the mile run, finishing fourth with a time of 4:12.54, also an NCAA provo mark.
Freshman Nick Shuster has a very promising future in the high jump, and he scored in his first-ever conference meet appearance, tying for eighth place with a height of 6 feet, 5 inches.
Scoring in two different events for the Chargers was sophomore Matthew Perkins, who took sixth in the 3000 (8:30.55) and fourth in the mile (4:12.54). Both times were NCAA provo marks.
Another illustration of how tough this meet was came in the form of Hillsdale hurdlers Matt Raffin and Elliot Murphy. They finished 10th and 11th in the 60 hurdles respectively, yet their times - 8.29 for Raffin and 8.30 for Murphy - were both NCAA provo marks. The top 11 runners in the 60 hurdles were separated by just .21 seconds.