Panthers to compete in HCAC Indoor Championships this weekend

Clayton Noblitt running

HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover men's track and field team will make its second trip of the winter to Anderson, Ind. to compete in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Championships Saturday, Feb. 17. The meet will begin at 1 p.m. in the Kardatzke Wellness Center on the campus of Anderson University.

COMPETITION: Anderson (Ind.), Bluffton (Ohio), Defiance (Ohio), Earlham (Ind.), Franklin (Ind.), Manchester (Ind.), Mount St. Joseph (Ohio), Rose-Hulman (Ind.) and Transylvania (Ky.)


LAST WEEK: Hanover competed in the DePauw Classic a week ago in Greencastle, Ind. and recorded five top five finishes and had two new marks good enough to make the top five in school history.

A pair of freshmen in Reece Hunter (Mooresville, Ind.) and Alex Maledeney (Fort Wayne, Ind.) posted those two top five marks. Hunter was third in the 400m with a time of 52.17, which was good for fifth all-time, while Maledeney placed seventh in the 60m hurdles with a time of 9.12 to move into third in program history. 

Hunter also scored in the 200m to join junior Darrell Payne (Indianapolis, Ind.) in scoring in multiple events. Payne was third in the 200m and sixth in the 400m. 

Junior Jacob Hedrick (Memphis, Ind.) set a new personal record in the 3000-meter run. His time of 9:06.11 is the fourth best in school history.

LAST YEAR: The men posted its second highest point total in the previous seven HCAC Indoor Championships and finished fourth as a team with 65.5 points. Rose-Hulman took home the team title with 247.50 points.

The Panthers best finish in the meet came in the distance medley relay, which consisted of Jack Simon, senior Andrew Strong (Poland, Ind.), Hananiah Davis and sophomore Hayden Veach (Shelbyville, Ind.). That quartet earned Hanover's only first place finish with a time of 10:50.93 to not only win the event, but go down as the second fastest time in school history. 

A pair of school records were also set at the meet. Senior Jacob Sofronko (Ridgeville, Ind.) had a throw of 15.54 meters in the weight throw, and freshman Ethan Monnin (Minster, Ohio) broke his own school record in the pole vault with a height of 4.10m. 

PERFORMANCE LIST: Hanover will enter Saturday's meet with athletes ranked among the top five in the HCAC in eight different events. Hayden Veach looks to challenge for titles in both the 800-meter and mile runs. The sophomore broke the school record in both events this winter and currently ranks second in the conference in each event. 

Reece Hunter ranks third in the 400-meter dash and the high jump, and is part of the 4x400-meter relay team that has posted the third best time this year, while Darrell Payne is ranked fifth in the 200-meter dash, and part of both the 4x400-meter relay and 4x200-meter relay teams that rank third and fourth respectively.

RETURN TRIP: This Saturday's trip to Anderson will be the second of the winter for the Panthers, who also competed at the Anderson Invitational back on February 3. In that meet at the same Kardatzke Wellness Center that will host this weekend's meet, Hanover broke two school records and tied a third. Hayden Veach broke the one-mile record with a time of 4:27.67. Jacob Sofronko suprassed his own school record in the weight throw with a toss of 15.76m, and Ethan Monnin tied his school-best mark of 4.10m in the pole vault. 

Senior Tommaso Girelli (Trentino, Italy) also set a personal record in the triple jump, while Darrell Payne ran his best time ever in the 200m. 

In addition, the 4x400-meter relay team placed third in the event with a time of 3:33.66 to move into fourth all-time in Hanover history.

UP NEXT: Hanover will make yet another trip back to Anderson Saturday, Feb. 24 when the Panthers compete in the Fred Wilt Invitational. The meet will start at 3 p.m. in the Kardatzke Wellness Center. 

Contact: Mike Pritchard