The Hillsdale College men's track team earned a sixth-place finish at this weekend's 2014 GLIAC Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Hillsdale College at the Margot V. Biermann Athletic Center.
National powerhouse Grand Valley State won the team championship with 162 points, edging second-place Ashland who had 138.5 points. Tiffin finished third, followed by Findlay and Lake Erie College. The Chargers scored 48.5 points as a team in the meet.
The Chargers got some solid performances against the best competition in the conference on its home track throughout the weekend.
The top field event performer of the meet for Hillsdale was sophmore Matthew Harris, who took second place in the pole vault with a leap of 15 feet, 3 inches. Like many events at GLIACs, the pole vault features highly ranked talent up and down the entry sheet, and Harris came through with one of his best performances at the most important time.
Senio Maurice Jones finished in sixth place in the 200 at 22.43 seconds, and followed that up with a fifth-place spot in the 400 (48.82). To illustrate how tough this field was, Jones' 400 time would have been good enough to become a new building record, but four other runners registered better times.
Junior Joshua Mirth, fresh off his 5000 meter win Saturday, ran an excellent race in the 3000, finishing fifth with a time of 8:31.59, which also would have been good enough to be a new building record.
The 4x400 relay team of Ty Etchemendy, Jared Van Dyke, Matthew Raffin and Jones placed fifthwith a time of 3:21.38. Prior to that race, Etchemendy scored some big points for the team with a third-place finish in the triple jump, clearing 47 feet, 11 inches.
In the shot put, an amazing 11 athletes recorded NCAA provisional marks, again showing the quality depth the GLIAC possesses. Senior John Banovetz took fifth in this very tough field with a PR toss of 56 feet, 3 inches.
Junior distance runner Joshua Mirth already had one GLIAC championship in his impressive career. Saturday evening, he added another on his home track.
Mirth is the 2014 GLIAC indoor track 5000 meter champion, taking first place with a time of 14:40.91 at day one of this year's championships, being hosted by Hillsdale College at the Margot V. Biermann Athletic Center.
Mirth (pictured) was stuck in the lead pack with four runners from Grand Valley State through much of the race, but accelerated into another gear over the final two laps and steamrolled past the finish line, winning a very competitive race. The second and third-place finishers, both from GVSU, finished less than a second behind Mirth.
Only the 5000 meters and distance medley races were decided on Saturday, with the other races being of the prelim variety.
Through six completed events, the Chargers are in fifth place with 12 points as a team.
Luke Hickman scored a point for Hillsdale with his eighth-place finish in the 5000.