HANOVER, Ind. - With five meets in the books, the Hanover women's cross country team will next travel to Powell, Ohio Saturday, Nov. 11 to compete in the 2017 NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional.
The 6k race will be hosted by Ohio Wesleyan this year and is scheduled to be run at Liberty Park, which is mostly flat with some rolling hills. According to Ohio Wesleyan's web site, there is one short, but steep, hill at the 1,000-meter mark.
The Panthers last competed at the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships at Manchester two weeks ago, where they finished sixth overall. Sophomore Ariel Barlow (Francesville, Ind.) was the first Hanover runner to cross the finish line. Barlow set a new personal best with a time of 24:55.18 to place 23rd overall.
Career lows were also set by juniors Morgan Hamilton (Centerville, Ind.) and Amanda Stump (Garrett, Ind.). Hamilton ran a time of 25:18.80 for 25th place, while Stump completed the 6k course in 25:24.25 to come in 28th out of 85 total competitors.
Since 2007 only a pair of Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association schools have claimed regional championships. Calvin (Mich.) has won eight of the last 10 meets, including five straight from 2007-2011. Hope (Mich.) won the other two titles. The Flying Dutch won the 2012 meet hosted by Anderson, and again in 2015 when it was hosted by Rose-Hulman. Calvin won last year's meet that was hosted by Hope, but the Flying Dutch won this year's MIAA Championships two weeks ago with the Knights placing second.
The Panthers finished 26th overall last year. Stump and Hamilton are the only two current members of this year's team to run in a regional meet, with both having competed in 2015 and 2016. Stump will look to better her time of 25:53.0 in last year's competition, while Hamilton will look to do the same after running a 26:28.9 a year ago.
Hanover's best finish in recent years came in 2014 when the Blue and Red ran to a 10th place finish out of 35 total teams. The team's top five runners that year averaged 23:13 to lead all HCAC schools at the meet hosted by Wilmington (Ohio).
The Panthers' last all-region runner was Teresa Wiczynski in 2015. Wiczynski, in her senior year, placed 19th overall out of 243 runners with a time of 22:38.9 in Terre Haute, Ind.
Eight of the top 10 individual finishers from last year's regional were seniors, including Hope's Erin Herrmann, who won the individual title with a time of 21:10.09. Otterbein (Ohio) junior Claire Lamb finished fourth last year in 21:47.6, and Oberlin (Ohio) junior Linnea Halsten was ninth with a time of 21:57.2.
The women's race is scheduled to begin at 12:15 p.m. with the awards ceremony to follow.
Contact: Mike Pritchard