400-meter highlights Panthers' performance in season-opening meet

Samuel Pyle

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Behind strong performances in the 400-meters, the Hanover men's track & field team opened its indoor season with a fourth place finish at the Rose-Hulman Friday Night Invitational.

The Panthers had three runners score in the 400m, while the 4x400 relay squad added a second place finish, as HC accumulated 25 points of its 52 total points in the 400m-distanced events.

Freshman Reece Hunter (Mooresville, Ind.), a member of both relay squads Friday, added top five individual finishes in the high jump and 200m. In his lone field event, Hunter logged a jump of 1.84m, which was higher than any mark for the Panther men last indoor season. The freshman also placed second in the 400m with a time of 52.65.

Following closely behind in the 400 was sophomore Samuel Pyle (Goshen, Ky.), whose 52.81 time was good enough for third overall. Junior Darrell Payne (Indianapolis, Ind.) placed sixth, crossing the finish line at 53.33 seconds.

The trio were joined by senior Andrew Strong (Poland, Ind.) on both the 4x200 and 4x400 relays, where they finished third (1:34.09) and second (3:36.49), respectively.

Hanover also enjoyed some success in the field events, highlighted by senior Jacob Sofronko (Ridgeville, Ind.) finishing fifth in the weight throw. Sofronko, who enters 2018 as the school's recorder holder in the event, posted a toss of 14.69m Friday evening. Sophomore Kyler Perez (Garrett, Ind.) also scored in the event, tallying a distance of 13.60m.

Junior Joe Sheryak (Greenwood, Ind.) added a pair of top eight finishes Friday, including the pole vault, where his height of 3.49m was good enough for seventh. Sheryak also placed eighth in the 60m hurdles with a time of 9.67 seconds.

Recording another top five finish on the track for HC was freshman Clayton Noblitt (New Goshen, Ind.), who ran the 60m in 7.38 seconds.

With 229 points, Rose-Hulman earned the team victory. The Panthers' 52 points were the second most by a HCAC institution and third among NCAA Division III schools Friday.

Hanover will return to action next weekend, Jan. 26 and 27, as the team will compete at the Rose-Hulman Engineer Invitational and the Indianapolis Tom Hathaway Classic.

Contact: Tyler Jester