Women's track & field claims fifth HCAC outdoor championship

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DELHI, Ohio – For the second time in three years and fifth time overall, the Hanover College women's track & field team is champion of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference outdoor meet.

The Panthers, who placed second during the winter's conference indoor championships, recorded 179 points this past Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27, to capture the 2019 outdoor crown. The Blue and Red have won the HCAC outdoor title in 2019, 2017, 2013, 2012 and 2011.

Hanover won four of the 20 events and had the high-point individual champion in junior Kenna Hunter (Mooresville, Ind.).

Hunter was one of three athletes for HC to finish in the top eight for total meet points. The junior led the conference with 34.50 points, highlighted by her win in the 400m hurdles on Saturday. Hunter clocked in at 1:06.39 to place first in the race for the third consecutive year. She was also third in the 100m hurdles (16.63), third in the triple jump (10.12m) and sixth in the high jump (1.50m) on Saturday.

Joining Hunter in the 100 hurdles and the triple jump was junior Michelle Witt (Carmel, Ind.). Witt was fourth in the hurdles, 16.81 seconds, and sixth in the triple jump, 9.70m. Sophomore Olivia Hall (Lexington, Ky.) also scored in the 100m hurdles, placing sixth at 17.43 seconds. Hall placed in the same position in the 400m hurdles, clocking in at 1:11.98.

Witt, along with freshmen in Riley Austin (Richmond, Ind.), Makenzie Carroll (Richmond, Ky.) and Alexis Harsh (North Vernon, Ind.), placed second in the 4x100m relay with a time of 50.00, which now ranks third all-time at HC.

Harsh was tied for the seventh most points at the meet with sophomore Erin Browning (Greensburg, Ind.), as they each finished with 17 points. After winning the long jump on Friday, Harsh was seventh in the 200m dash Saturday, 27.43, to go along with relay effort.

Browning won the hammer throw with a school-record toss of 51.08m, which keeps her among the top 20 marks in the country. Senior Hannah Gregory (Columbus, Ind.) was also seventh in the hammer throw, as her personal-best toss

The trio of Austin, Carroll and Hunter were joined by senior Teal Burnett (Marshall, Ill.) in the 4x400m relay, which placed first with a time of 4:10.83. Carroll and Burnett placed sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 400m dash, posting times of 1:01.43 and 1:01.90. Burnett was also sixth in the javelin throw at 30.37m, which ranks eighth all-time in Panther lore.

The distance events saw freshman Arig Tong (Columbus, Ind.) post a pair of top three performances. Tong won the 5000m run with a time of 18:16.83, while crossing the finish line third in the 1500m run at 4:53.83.

Junior Ariel Barlow (Francesville, Ind.), who was second in the 3000m steeplechase Friday, placed fifth in the 5K at 19:32.93. Senior Morgan Hamilton (Connersville, Ind.) scored in the 1500m run as well, clocking in at 4:59.90, her first sub-five-minute mark this spring.

Hanover outlasted defending champion Rose-Hulman for the top spot, as the Engineers finished with 122 points. Manchester and Earlham placed third and fourth with 96 and 94 points, respectively.

The Panthers will now enter the "last chance" portion of its schedule, beginning with the Indiana University Billy Hayes Invitational on Friday, May 3.

Contact: Tyler Jester