The 2016-17 athletic year came to a close Saturday afternoon for Hillsdale College, and senior Caleb Gatchell ensured that end was a positive one.
Gatchell earned his fourth career All-American honor, placing fifth in the 1500 meter run at the 2017 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, held in Bradenton, Florida.
His time of 3:51.02 came as a result of some excellent closing splits. The race was very tightly packed through the first 700 meters, with all 12 runners within 1.5 seconds of one another. Gatchell started strong, fell behind, but came on strong in the final parts of the race, finishing his last split in 55.95 seconds, four seconds faster than his previous split.
Not only did Gatchell wrap up an excellent career on the track, his accomplishments in the classroom are just as noteworthy. He was a recipient of the President's Scholar Athlete Award back in March, one of just a handful of student-athletes at Hillsdale to receive the distinction.
Hillsdale's other men's participant at nationals was hammer thrower Daniel Capek. He finished just outside of the All-American threshold, taking ninth with a best throw of 60.72 meters. Capek was part of a dominant contingent of GLIAC hammer throwers. Seven of the top nine hammer throwers at nationals were from the GLIAC, and Capek's performance helped add to a remarkable performance by the conference.