Panthers set to host Hanover Invitational this weekend

Alexis Harsh

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover College women's track & field team is set to host its annual home invitational this Saturday, March 30.

SETTING THE SCENE: Competition is slated to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, with a Senior Day ceremony preceding with a 10:30 a.m. start. The 10,000m run will open the events on the track, while a bevy of field events are also scheduled to commence at 11 a.m. at Alumni Stadium and the surrounding Panther Athletic Complex areas.

MEET INFO: Meet Home Page | Live Results | Performance Lists

COMPETITION: Adrian (Mich.), Elmhurst (Ill.), Franklin* (Ind.), Hanover* (Ind.), Manchester* (Ind.), Midway (Ky.), Mount St. Joseph* (Ohio),  Saint Francis (Ind.), Thomas More (Ky.)

* denotes Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference institution

AWARDS SZN: The Panthers won their first outdoor meet of the season and second during the calendar year last weekend, taking the top spot at the 18-team Transylvania Invitational. Hanover posted 16 top five finishes, including five individual championships at Transylvania.

For their efforts, junior Ariel Barlow (Francesville, Ind.) and sophomore Erin Browning (Greensburg, Ind.) were named HCAC track and field athletes of the week, respectively. Barlow won the 3000m steeplechase by 14 seconds with a time of 12:03.72, which ranks inside the top 20 marks nationally. Browning took first place in the hammer throw and fifth place in the shot put. The sophomore's hammer toss set a new stadium and school record at 49.32m, which is also among the top three marks in NCAA Division III.

VAULTING INTO THE RANKINGS: Seniors Erin Trimpe (New Palestine, Ind.) and Emily Clancy (Columbus, Ind.) have given Hanover one of the top pole vault groups in the country, as both rank inside the top 15 nationally this spring. Trimpe set a new school record in the outdoor opener, 3.73m, which led the country at the time and is currently at No. 2. Clancy's clearance of 3.50m last week at Transylvania has her in the 14th spot in the national rankings.

FIRST YEARS FINDING RECORD BOOK: A trio of freshmen, Mariah Grider (North Vernon, Ind.), Alexis Harsh (North Vernon, Ind.) and Arig Tong (Columbus, Ind.), have continued their stellar seasons from the indoor venue to the outdoor events. Grider now ranks in the top 10 all-time at Hanover in three throwing events, the hammer (42.97m), discus (36.86m) and shot put (10.45m). Her hammer and discus marks are also among the national leaders and rank fourth and fifth in Panther lore, respectively.

Harsh has one of the eight fastest 100m dash marks in school history, 13.17 seconds. The freshman also has a long jump mark of 5.20m outdoors, which is third all-time at Hanover. Tong, the first freshman in school history to qualify for the NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championships, finds herself among the top times in school history in the 1500m (4:57.73) and 5000m (18:16.79) runs.

HOME SWEET HANOVER: The Panthers have found success in their home meet in recent memory, including four championships in the past eight years. Hanover has also posted the top Division III score in seven of the past eight tries and are coming off a third overall finish last spring. Trimpe, junior Kenna Hunter (Mooresville, Ind.) and sophomore Heaven Bigelow (Lexington, Ky.) all earned individual victories in 2018. Trimpe won the pole vault, while Hunter and Bigelow took first place in the 400m dash and high jump, respectively.

UP NEXT: Hanover continues its pre-HCAC tour with a trip to Greencastle, Ind. for the DePauw Invitational Saturday, April 6, with a noon start. The Panthers have fond memories on the campus of DePauw, as they won the Tigers' indoor meet this past February.

Contact: Tyler Jester