Strong named HCAC Most Valuable Runner to lead outdoor awards




GREENWOOD, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference announced its 2018 awards list for the outdoor season, which was highlighted by Hanover track & field senior Andrew Strong (Poland, Ind.) being named the Male co-Most Valuable Runner.

Strong was one of six Hanover men's track & field athletes to receive all-conference accolades Thursday, as he was the lone Panther on the first team. The senior tallied 34 total points over four events, which included first place runs in the 110 and 400m hurdles. He clocked in times of 16.22 and 56.40 seconds in his final runs, while his prelim 110m hurdle time of 15.95 set a personal record. Strong is also Hanover's first male HCAC Track Athlete of the Year for the outdoor season.

Earning second team honors for their individual performances at the league championships last weekend were junior Jacob Hedrick (Memphis, Ind.) and freshman Reece Hunter (Mooresville, Ind.). Hedrick's championship weekend was highlighted by a second-place finish in the 5000m run, where he crossed the finish line at 15:17.11. Hunter earned second place honors in the 400m dash, running the one-lap race in 49.17 seconds. The freshman's time also moved him into third in school history.

Joining Strong and Hunter on both relay teams at the HCAC Championships were junior Darrell Payne (Indianapolis, Ind.) and freshman Alex Maldeney (Fort Wayne, Ind.). Placing second in the 4x400m relay, Payne and Maldeney were honored as second team all-HCAC selections.  Maldeney also placed third in the 110 and 400m hurdles, earning a PR in both events over the two-day meet.

Hanover's five first and second team outdoor all-conference award winners were also tabbed with at least honorable mention accolades this past winter during the indoor campaign.

The lone Hanover honorable mention award winner is senior Joe Rector (Aurora, Ind.), who finished third in the 5K with a time of 15:26.44. Rector finishes his collegiate career as a seven-time all-HCAC award winner during the indoor and outdoor track & field seasons.

Receiving HC's all-conference sportsmanship award is freshman Elijah Williams (Greencastle, Ind.). Williams has competed in the shot put and hammer throw this spring.

The Panthers placed third at the HCAC Outdoor Championships for the second time in the past three seasons, accumulating 105 points over 20 events. Hanover's point total was its highest program mark since the league's inception in 1989, when it was called the Indiana Collegiate Athletic Conference.

The Blue and Red will have select athletes compete throughout the month of May, including this Friday, May 4, when sophomore Hayden Veach (Shelbyville, Ind.) makes his way to Bloomington, Ind. for the Billy Hayes Invitational.

Contact: Tyler Jester