Men's Outdoor Track & Field Preview: Track Events

Samuel Pyle

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover men's track & field team is set to open the outdoor season this weekend and is coming off a successful stint during the 2019 indoor campaign.

The Panthers posted their best finish at the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Championships, placing second in the field of 10 teams this past February. Hanover also tallied its highest point total ever at the HCAC indoor meet, 152, nearly double its previous high. Senior Joe Sheryak (Greenwood, Ind.) also became the first player in program history to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships, as he recently placed 10th nationally in the heptathlon.

Senior Jacob Hedrick (Memphis, Ind.) has also made history during the 2018-19 athletic season, as he was the first men's runner for HC at the NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships. Hedrick also had a successful indoor campaign, where he set new school records in the 3000m (8:46.04) and 5000m (15:07.87) runs. The senior also used the 2018 outdoor stint to move into the top three in the 3K, 5K and 10K. He currently holds the 5K record with a time of 15:04.50.

Joining the distance group is junior Hayden Veach (Shelbyville, Ind.) and freshman Cooper Hanson (Greenfield, Ind.). Veach is among the program leaders in the 800m, 1500m and 3K. All of the junior's best times outdoor came during his freshman campaign in 2017. Hanson will look to build momentum off his initial indoor track season. The freshman placed second at the HCAC Championships with a school record time of 1:57.69 in the 800m run.

The sprints group will be led by sophomore Reece Hunter (Mooresville, Ind.), as well as senior Darrell Payne (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior Samuel Pyle (Goshen, Ky.). Hunter nearly joined Sheryak at nationals during the indoor season, falling just .08 seconds short of qualifying in the 400m dash. The sophomore, who won the HCAC championship in the indoor 400, is also just .16 seconds off the school record mark in the event.

Payne and Pyle, along with Hunter are on some of the fastest relay units in school history as well. Payne ranks third in school history in the 200m (22.44), while Pyle is fifth in the 400m (49.40).

Hanover is set to open the campaign this weekend at the Margaret Simmons Invitational, hosted by NCAA Division I Murray State (Ky.), and the Rose-Hulman Early Bird Meet. The Murray State meet will take place Friday, March 15, while the Rose-Hulman meet is set for Saturday, March 16.

Contact: Tyler Jester