Harsh wins the long jump, Panthers in first after Day One of HCAC Championships

Alexis Harsh

CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Hanover College women's track & field team utilized strong showings in the distance runs and the long jump to position itself in first place after Day One of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships, hosted by Mt. St. Joseph.

The Panthers tallied 24 points in two distance finals Friday afternoon, as well as 20 points in the long jump to help aid a 75-point total after the first day of competition. Manchester (36) and Rose-Hulman (31) round out the top three in the team rankings after six scored events.

In her outdoor HCAC championship debut, freshman Alexis Harsh (North Vernon, Ind.) won the long jump with a distance of 5.31m, which is a new personal record and keeps her inside the top three all-time at Hanover. Junior Kenna Hunter (Mooresville, Ind.) made it a 1-2 finish in the event, logging a jump of 5.11m, also a personal record. Adding a seventh-place performance with a personal-best jump of 4.94m was freshman Riley Austin (Richmond, Ind.).

Harsh also PR'd in her two prelim races, clocking in at 13.12 and 27.41 seconds, respectively, in the 100 and 200m dashes. Hunter also qualified for both hurdle finals, as her Friday track efforts were highlighted by a second-place time of 1:09.70 in the 400m hurdles, an event she is the two-time defending HCAC champion in.

Joining Hunter in the both the 100m and 400m hurdle finals is sophomore Olivia Hall (Lexington, Ky.). Hall was fifth in the 400m distance, 1:11.93, and eighth in the 100m, 17.60. Junior Michelle Witt (Carmel, Ind.) also qualified for the 100m hurdle championship after clocking in at 16.99 seconds.

The 10000m run saw a trio of Harriers score, led by junior Caitlyn Naghdi (Carmel, Ind.), who placed second with a time of 41:27.00, which was over one minute faster than her previous best collegiate mark. Freshman Brianna Medcalf (Central, Ind.) was fourth in the 10K, 42:00.58, as she and Naghdi now sit eighth and 10th all-time at Hanover, respectively.

Rounding out the scoring in the 10K was senior Amanda Stump (Garrett, Ind.), who placed eighth with a time of 42:57.91. Stump was also seventh in the 3000m steeplechase final, crossing at 12:41.02. Leading the Blue and Red in the steeplechase was junior Ariel Barlow (Francesville, Ind.), who clocked in at 11:49.12 for second overall.

Off the track, seniors Emily Clancy (Columbus, Ind.) and Erin Trimpe (New Palestine, Ind.) placed second and third in the pole vault. Clancy tied a personal-best height at 3.50m, while Trimpe followed at 3.35m.

Sophomore Erin Browning (Greensburg, Ind.) scored in two throwing events, led by her effort in the shot put, where she placed second at 11.67m. Browning's discus toss of 33.57m was good enough for eighth overall and eighth in Panther lore. Freshman Mariah Grider (North Vernon, Ind.) posted a distance of 37.33m in the discus toss to move into third in school history and place third at the conference meet.

Additionally, three runners qualified for track finals after their performance in the prelims on Friday. Freshman Makenzie Carroll (Richmond, Ky.) was seeded third heading into the 400m dash, which is where she finished Friday with a time of 1:02.58. Senior Teal Burnett (Marshall, Ill.) will join her in the event, as she crossed at 1:03.37 in just her second outdoor appearance of the spring. Fellow senior Morgan Hamilton (Connersville, Ind.), qualified for the 800m finals after posting a top-five time of 2:24.33, which sets a new PR and ranks seventh in program history.

Day Two competition is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, April 27, at the Mount Sports Complex.

Contact: Tyler Jester