Men's track continues indoor slate with Friday Night action

Cooper Hanson
Photo credit: Michelle Witt



HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover men's track & field team will continue the opening portion of its 2019 indoor schedule with its second trip to Rose-Hulman in as many weeks.

The Panthers are slated to compete in the Rose-Hulman Friday Night Invitational at 6 p.m., Jan. 18. The performance list for the meet will be made available by Friday morning.

THE COMPETITION: Hanover will be squaring off against its largest field of the new season, as a total of 10 teams will commence inside the RHIT Fieldhouse this weekend. Three scholarship-based institutions will be competing, Brescia (Ky.), Campbellsville (Ky.) and Kentucky Wesleyan, while the remaining seven are housed in NCAA Division III. Hanover, Franklin and Rose-Hulman are the three Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference institutions that will be in attendance. Additionally, DePauw (Ind.), Millikin (Ill.), St. Norbert (Wisc.) and Wabash (Ind.) will be in the field Friday.

HEDRICK GUNNING FOR MORE RECORDS: Fresh off being named HCAC Track Athlete of the Week, senior Jacob Hedrick (Memphis, Ind.) will look to take down his second school record in as many weeks this winter. Hedrick's season-opening performance in the 3000m run last weekend resulted in him breaking the school's 24-year-old school record with a time of 8:46.04. His mark is currently ranked inside the top 25 nationally.

This weekend, Hedrick will travel to compete at the Indiana University Gladstein Invitational, which will take place on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 18 and 19. The senior will be one of four athletes, two from NCAA Division I Bradley University (Ill.), to participate in the 5000m run. Hedrick currently ranks second in school history with a personal-best time of 15:25.30.

STRONG FIRST-YEAR DEBUTS: The Panthers received solid debuts from a few of their first-year athletes last weekend at the Rose-Hulman Friday Night Spikes Invite. Leading the way was freshman Riley Cook (Corydon, Ind.), who won the high jump event with a mark of 1.95 meters. The freshman's height moves him into third on the program's all-time indoor list and is among the top 25 marks in Division III.

Cook was joined by classmates Bryce Gatewood (Noblesville, Ind.) and Justin Johnson (Camby, Ind.) on the 4x400m relay team, which clocked in at 3:35.82. The group also owns a top 10 program time after the performance. Also on the track, freshman Cooper Hanson (Greenfield, Ind.) produced the third fastest mark in school history, clocking in at 2:01.07.

CHASING RECORDS: A quartet of track athletes will look to hunt down school records this indoor season. Seniors Darrell Payne (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Joe Sheryak (Greenwood, Ind.) will look to improve in the 200m dash and 60m hurdles, respectively. Payne is coming off a second place finish last weekend with a time of 23.89 seconds.

Sophomore Reece Hunter (Mooresville, Ind.) and junior Samuel Pyle (Goshen, Ky.) are looking to continue to climb up the program ranks in the 400m dash. Hunter clocked in at 51.83 last weekend, as both runners are ranked inside the top six in school history and are apart of the program's second fastest 1600m relay team (3:30.86).

MEET HISTORY: Hanover has found success at the Rose-Hulman Friday Night Invite, placing inside the top four in each of the past four seasons. The 400m dash highlighted last season's performance, as Hunter, Pyle and Payne all posted top six finishes in the event. The trio was also a part of the 4x400m relay team that place second overall. Hunter led the group of individuals with a second place finish and a time of 52.65.

UP NEXT: The first true split-squad weekend is on the horizon for the track & field program, as they will send athletes to Rose-Hulman and UIndy. A select number of athletes will trek to Terre Haute for the Engineer Invitational, which will commence at 6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 25. The UIndy Tom Hathaway Distance Classic, a meet HC usually sends its multi-athletes to, will take place Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25 and 26.

Contact: Tyler Jester