Men's track & field preps for HCAC Outdoor Championships

Reece Hunter



HANOVER. Ind. – The Hanover College men's track & field team will look to build off a successful spring season when they compete in the two-day Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships this weekend.

SETTING THE SCENE: The Panthers have produced a strong outdoor campaign thus far in 2019 and are set to open competition against the other nine HCAC institutions at 3 p.m., Friday, April 26. Day Two events will begin at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 27. The championship meet will be hosted by Mt. St. Joseph, in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Mount Sports Complex.


HCAC HISTORY: The Panthers placed third last spring, tallying their highest point total ever at the HCAC outdoor meet, 105 points. Hanover has placed inside the top three of the league meet in two of the past three years, but are still looking for their first top-two finish at the outdoor HCAC championships. The Blue and Red have placed third in 2018, 2016, 2001 and 2000. The program's last runner-up finish at an outdoor conference meet was in 1984, while the last team championship came in 1961, which capped a seven-year title run. Hanover is coming off its best performance in school history at the indoor meet, placing second with 152 total points.

PANTHERS IN THE POLLS: The Panthers are currently ranked No. 2 in the USTFCCCA's track & field ratings index for the HCAC. Hanover (1,073.93) and Rose-Hulman (1,550.53) are the only two schools with a rating over 1,000. Coincidentally, Hanover is also 15th in the coaches association's great lakes regional index. Prior to the start of the 2019 outdoor season, the HCAC coaches predicted the Blue and Red to place second, as the team received 91 total points and one first place vote.

MULTI'S LEADING THE WAY: Sophomore Reece Hunter (Mooresville, Ind.) and senior Joe Sheryak (Greenwood, Ind.) will once again look to lead the way for HC at a conference meet. Hunter currently owns top eight conference marks in four individual events, led by his school-record performances in the 200 (22.28) and 400m dashes (48.66). The sophomore's 400 time ranks 23rd across NCAA Division III and he has also found success in the high jump (1.80m) and long jump (6.21m) this spring.

Sheryak is coming off a record-setting indoor campaign, one which saw him become the first male athlete at Hanover to qualify for the NCAA Division III national championships. The senior placed 10th in the national heptathlon and led the conference in meet points at the indoor championships with 28 points. Sheryak is scheduled to compete in both hurdle events, as well as the long jump and high jump, and will be joined by junior Ethan Monnin (Minster, Ohio) in the pole vault.

GOING THE DISTANCE: Senior Jacob Hedrick (Memphis, Ind.) and junior Hayden Veach (Shelbyville, Ind.) have been the leaders of the distance runners this season. Hedrick is set to compete in the 5000 and 10000m runs, both of which he placed in the top six last season. The senior set the school record in the 10K back on March 30 with a conference-leading time of 31:22.96. The school-record holder in the 5K as well, Hedrick's best time this season is 15:06.07, which seeds him second in the HCAC.

Veach has paced the shorter distance runs in the 800 and 1500m events. The two-lap race has seen the junior post a time of 1:56.57 this spring, while his best 1500m time is 3:56.88. Both marks are new personal records and rank second in school history. Freshman Cooper Hanson (Greenfield, Ind.) will also take to the track in the 800 and 1500m runs, events he has moved into the top 10 all-time in Panther lore.

THROWING THE HAMMER: The hammer throw has seen junior Kyler Perez (Garrett, Ind.) and sophomore Elijah Williams (Greencastle, Ind.) among the HCAC leaders this spring. Perez has cleared 50 meters twice this season, including his school record toss of 52.46m, which has him seeded second heading into the weekend. Williams, who will also appear in the shot put, has the program's eighth best hammer toss, 44.42m, which he produced earlier this season.

Contact: Tyler Jester