Men's track wins team title for second straight week

Reece Hunter

HANOVER, Ind. – After going over a decade without an outdoor meet team title, the Hanover men's track & field team did it for the second consecutive week Saturday, March 30, winning its home invitational.

The Panthers accumulated 24 top five finishes, including six victories to total 163.50 points and outlast the other eight teams competing in unfavorable conditions at Alumni Stadium. Also of note, senior Jacob Hedrick (Memphis, Ind.) competed at the Washington Univ. (Mo.) Invitational Friday night, breaking a 35-year-old record with a time of 31:22.96. Hedrick broke Joe Lake's previous school mark by nearly 15 seconds and placed 14th in a field of 96 runners.

Saturday's home meet saw sophomore Reece Hunter (Mooresville, Ind.) pick up three total victories. Individually, Hunter won the 200 and 400m dashes with times of 22.55 and 49.25 seconds, respectively. His 200 time moves him into eighth in school history, as he also tied for fifth in the high jump with a height of 1.80m.

Hunter was joined by senior Darrell Payne (Indianapolis, Ind.), junior Samuel Pyle (Goshen, Ky.) and freshman Bryce Gatewood (Noblesville, Ind.) on the winning 4x400m relay team, which clocked in at 3:29.76. Gatewood (50.87) and Pyle (51.90) placed third and sixth in the 400m dash, respectively, while Pyle (23.21) and Payne (23.50) were fourth and fifth in the 200m.

Junior Hayden Veach (Shelbyville, Ind.) took the 1500m race with a time of 4:02.28. Veach was joined by freshman Cooper Hanson (Greenfield, Ind.) and sophomore Andrew Clegg (Indianapolis, Ind.) in the top eight. Hanson placed second with the school's ninth fastest time, 4:07.17, while Clegg followed in fourth at 4:17.03. Fellow distance runner, senior Matt Young (Carmel, Ind.), clocked in at 10:53.92 in the 3000m steeplechase, which was good enough for third overall and his second sub-11-minute time this spring.

In the field events, juniors Kyler Perez (Garrett, Ind.) and Ethan Monnin (Minster, Ind.) won the hammer throw and pole vault, respectively. Perez, who set the school hammer toss record last week, followed up with a mark of 49.63m this week. The junior was also fourth in the discus with a distance of 39.31m. Monnin won the pole vault with clearance of 4.27m.

A trio of throwers added depth to the group with their performances Saturday. Sophomore Hunter Wolford (Columbus, Ind.) led the group of three with a second place showing in the shot put, 13.75m. Wolford was also seventh in the discus throw with a personal-record mark of 38.05m. Classmate Elijah Williams (Greencastle, Ind.) was fourth in the hammer throw (40.80m) and shot put (12.97m). Sophomore Deacon Fountain (Dexter, Mich.) provided a seventh-place performance in the hammer throw at 33.82m.

Senior Joe Sheryak (Greenwood, Ind.) scored in three events, led by his third place showing in the 400m hurdles. His hurdle time of 57.58 seconds set a new PR and moves him into eighth in Panther lore. The senior was fifth in the 110m hurdles (17.07) and eighth in the high jump (1.75m) as well.

Additional Panthers in the top eight in the 400m hurdles were freshmen Justin Johnson (Camby, Ind.) and Steven Delaney (Charlestown, Ind.). Johnson was fifth at 59.05 seconds, while Delaney clocked in at 1:02.26 for seventh and added a second-place mark in his first collegiate attempt at the javelin throw (42.04m).

Freshmen Riley Cook (Corydon, Ind.) and Sam Jackson (Indianapolis, Ind.) added top five efforts in the jumps. Cook was fourth with a height of 1.85m in the high jump. Jackson placed fifth in the long jump at 5.79m, while adding an eighth-place performance in the 200m dash, 23.74. Junior Kornell Dash (Evansville, Ind.) added a top-eight sprint showing, placing eighth in the 100m dash at 11.80 seconds.

Hanover topped Thomas More (Ky.) for the top spot, as the Saints placed second with 157 points. Adrian (Mich.) rounded out the top three with 142 points.

The Panthers will look to continue their strong start to the outdoor campaign when they travel to compete in the DePauw Invitational at noon, Saturday, April 6.

Contact: Tyler Jester