Hillsdale College women's cross country coach Andrew Towne sets high expectations for his teams. He has helped bring the Chargers to the very top of NCAA Division II powerhouse programs in recent years and Saturday's performance only added to that legacy.
Competing on a foggy Saturday morning in Cedarville, Ohio, the Chargers placed second at the ultra-competitive NCAA Division II Midwest Regional, finishing with 81 points, 24 better than third-place Walsh.
Grand Valley State put four runners in the top 12 overall and won the regional championship with 46 points. Northern Michigan finished fourth and Southern Indiana took fifth. All five of those aforementioned teams have been nationally ranked during the season, making the Midwest perhaps the country's toughest region.
As a result of its second place finish, Hillsdale has qualified as a team to compete at the NCAA Championships, scheduled for Saturday, November 18.
Hillsdale was led once again by veteran Hannah McIntyre, who is having her finest cross country season. She took second overall at the regional with a time of 21:25.5, finishing six seconds behind Walsh's Sarah Berger, this year's regional champ.
Arena Lewis took ninth overall with a time of 21:54, giving Hillsdale a crucial second runner inside the individual top 10. The addition of Lewis for the postseason portion of the schedule has been key in Hillsdale's first-place at G-MACs two weeks ago as well as Saturday's runner-up finish.
Freshman Christina Sawyer ran an outstanding race and was in the thick of a big pack in the teens, placing 18th with a time of 22:02. Sawyer was part of a pack of seven runners that finished within five seconds of one another.