The Charger men turned in one of their best team races of the year at an ideal time, finishing an impressive third place at the 2013 GLIAC Men's Cross Country Championships Saturday morning in Houghton.
The men had 116 points, finishing only behind champion Grand Valley State (21) and runner-up Malone (95). Hillsdale finished one point ahead of fourth-place Ashland at the meet.
Junior Joshua Mirth finished eighth overall with a time of 25:38.4. He earned Second-Team All-GLIAC honors along with teammate Luke Hickman, who ran an outstanding race, and was 13th overall, finishing in 25:51.9.
John Butler also turned in a strong time, placing 23rd overall with a time of 26:10.4. Other scorers for the Chargers at the meet were freshman Joseph Newcomb and junior Matthew Perkins. It was the highest-ever finish at a conference meet for both Hickman and Butler.
The Chargers distinguished themselves as one of the most improved teams at this year's conference meet. In 2012, Hillsdale finished in eighth place, making their 2013 finish of third an improvement by an incredible five spots in the standings. This was one of many details about the team's performance that made men's head coach Jeff Forino a happy man.
"They have done everything we have asked and trusted in the training plan," he said. "They left it all out there on the course today. We couldn't have asked for anything more.
"Jack Butler ran the best race of his career finishing as our third guy today and Joseph Newcomb hung on for and roughed it out through the end of the race inspire of sustaining an injury in the first two miles of the race that sent him to the hospital to get stitches after the race," Forino continued. "Matthew Perkins also put in a great race today after overcoming a significant sickness through the middle of the season. Luke Daigneault and Caleb Gatchell also ran well edging out Ashland's fifth runner to help us to our awesome finish. Again, I am so proud of this group of guys. We got everything they had on this day."