The annual major track and field meet at Hillsdale College is known as the Gina Relays. The event honors the legacy of Hillsdale College All-American Gina Van Laar Lanser who continues to inspire athletes to “run fast”. Collegiate and unaffiliated athletes from across the Midwest come to Hillsdale Michigan to compete at this April competition. Running, jumping, and throwing events are held over 3 days on the grounds of Hillsdale College.
This event was known at the Hillsdale Relays until Gina’s tragic death in 1996, along with her unborn child, in an automobile accident. The meet was renamed the Gina Relays in her honor in 1997. While she was a student at Hillsdale during the 1980s, Gina was a national champion cross country runner and academic all star. The 10,000 meter run is named in her honor as well.
With all of these athletes and all of their coaches, supporters, and officials coming to town, there are not a lot of lodging options in Hillsdale County. The Days Inn (49) and the Dow Center (36) combine for 85 rooms. Hillsdale Motel (25), America’s Best Value (23), and Motel Somerset (14) combine for another 62 rooms. Several B&Bs add about 20 additional rooms. The best place to stay in Hillsdale County is at the Munro House Bed & Breakfast in downtown Jonesville. Located just 7 1/2 minutes from Hillsdale College, Munro House is a convenient location for college visitors. 7 Guest rooms are an ideal fit for the comfort of parents and other visitors.
“Life is good in Jonesville”