HANOVER, Ind. - Having already taken a look at the field events in the first part of our two-part season preview, we next move to the track events for the 2018 Hanover women's indoor track and field team.
For the Panthers to repeat as Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference indoor champions, they will need to make a strong showing in those track events.
"The sprints will be an area we'll hope to secure a lot of points," Hanover Director of Track & Field Brian Power said.
Expected to lead the sprinters are three of the team's five returning all-conference performers, including a junior in Teal Burnett (Marshall, Ill.) and sophomores Simone Henderson (Liberty Township, Ohio) and Kenna Hunter (Mooresville, Ind.).
Burnett placed in the top five in two individual events and two relays at last year's conference championships. The third-year athlete won the 400-meter dash in 1:02.03 (fourth in school history) and also scored in the 200-meter dash with a time of 27.40, which is the fifth best by a Hanover women's sprinter. In addition, she was part of the winning 4 x 400-meter relay that posted a time of 4:12.35, and the 4 x 200-meter relay which came in second in 1:49.85.
Both of those relays proved to be the second fastest times ever in Hanover women's indoor track and field history.
Henderson and Hunter both made an impact in their first collegiate season. Henderson was fourth in the 60-meter dash (8.20) and 200-meter dash (27.39), while also running a leg on the 4 x 200-meter relay. Her times in the 60-meter and 200-meter sprints were good for fifth and third in program history respectively.
Hunter placed second in the 400-meter dash (1:02.69), and like Burnett, was part of both the 4 x 400-meter and 4 x 200-meter relays. The sophomore also ran the third best time in school history in the 400-meter dash prior to the conference meet with a time of 1:01.82.
With those three expected to lead the sprinters, juniors Morgan Hamilton (Centerville, Ind.) and Amanda Stump (Garrett, Ind.), and sophomore Ariel Barlow (Francesville, Ind.) will be counted on to pace the distance group. Hamilton and Stump were all-conference performers last year as Hamilton was seventh in the mile run in last year's league meet with a time of 5:50.27, and then joined Stump on the distance medley that finished third in 13:35.61.
With the combination of experienced returners, and the addition of a talented freshman class, the Blue and Red are poised to make another run at the league title. The Panthers are set to begin their 2018 season Friday, Jan. 19 at the Rose-Hulman Friday Night Invitational. The meet is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. in Terre Haute, Ind.
Contact: Mike Pritchard