Men's track places fifth at Hanover Invitational

Samuel Pyle

HANOVER, Ind. – On what turned out to be a beautiful day at the Panther Athletic Complex, the Hanover men's track & field team finished fifth at its home invitational.

Highlighting the day was a pair of victories from junior Jacob Hedrick (Memphis, Ind.) and freshman Reece Hunter (Mooresville, Ind.). Hedrick opened the day with a 10,000m time of 32:06.88, good enough to move him into fourth all-time at Hanover. The junior's time fell nine seconds short of surpassing current head cross country and assistant track & field coach, Brady Wells, for third in school history.

Hunter took first place in the 400m dash, clocking in at 50.14 seconds. The first-year's time moved him into fifth all-time at HC. Hunter also went on to PR in the high jump, placing sixth with a mark of 1.80m, and he was a member of the 4x100m squad that placed third.

Hedrick and Hunter were joined by a bevy of Panthers in the top five of their respective victories, with senior Joe Rector (Aurora, Ind.) placing third in the 10,000m run at 33:09.51. Joining Hunter in the top five of the 400m was sophomore Samuel Pyle (Goshen, Ky.) and junior Darrell Payne (Indianapolis, Ind.), who logged times of 50.52 and 51.48, respectively.

The duo of Pyle and Payne also competed in the 200m dash, placing second and ninth, respectively, with times of 22.94 and 23.58. Pyle and Payne were also members of both relay teams, including the 4x400, where the group placed second, crossing the final finish line at 3:27.83.

Senior Andrew Strong (Poland, Ind.) also competed on both relay teams and saw individual action in the men's 110m hurdles. In the senior's individual event, he placed eighth with a personal best time of 17.10 seconds.

Joining Strong on the hurdle crew were freshmen Alex Maldeney (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Jordan Blankman (Monticello, Ind.). The two frosh posted fifth and eighth place finishes in the 400m hurdles with times of 58.97 and 59.58 seconds. Maldeney also ran on the 4x100 relay team, while Blankman anchored the 4x400 group.

Adding a personal record in the 3000m steeplechase was junior Matt Young (Carmel, Ind.). Young, behind his request of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird during competition, clocked in at 10:48.26.

Highlighting the throwing events for Hanover was sophomore Kyler Perez (Garrett, Ind.), who placed sixth in both the discus (38.83m) and hammer throws (44.87m). Senior Jacob Sofronko (Ridgeville, Ind.) also scored in the hammer throw, posting a distance of 44.62m.

The Blue and Red accumulated 79 points over 20 events, taking the top spot in terms of the six Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference institutions competing Saturday. Centre (Ky.) rallied to hold off Adrian (Mich.) by one-point, taking the team championship with 121 points.

Hanover now turns its attention to the first of two straight weekends in Greencastle, Ind., as they will compete in the DePauw Invitational at noon, Saturday, April 7.

Contact: Tyler Jester