Track Indoor Preview: Sprinters

Gavin Alexander and Teal Burnett sprint collage

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover men’s and women’s track and field programs will open the indoor season this weekend, in Crawfordsville, Ind., at the R.H. Johnson Invitational.

The men and women are coming off third and fourth place team finishes, respectively, at last season’s Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference indoor championship. Stay tuned all week as we preview different groups of the track and field squad.

Today, we take a deeper look at the sprinters to watch for this upcoming indoor campaign.

Savannah Hubbard (Madison, Ind.) is the reigning HCAC Indoor and Outdoor most outstanding field athlete, but the senior is also one of the leading sprinters for the Panthers. Hubbard, who competed in a total of 31 events during the indoor season last year, marked 11 top eight finishes in individual races 800 meters and shorter.

The senior began her 2015-16 indoor campaign with a first place finish in the 60-meter hurdles, an event she excelled in with three top four finishes overall. The local product’s best 60m hurdle time came at the HCAC Championships last year, as her mark of 9.76 seconds was good enough for fourth at the meet and fifth all-time in program history. Hubbard also posted HC all-time, top five finishes last season in the 200 meter and 400 meter runs. She logged a personal best time of 27.29 at the HCAC Championships in the 200m, as well as a personal record in the 400m at 1:04.28 at the Rose-Hulman Invite.

Also among the top five all-time in the indoor 400m is sophomore Teal Burnett (Marshall, Ill.). Burnett, who battled injuries for most of the indoor campaign in her first year at HC, ran the fourth fastest time in 400m history in her debut. The sophomore ran a time of 1:03.75 at the Rose-Hulman Invite, placing fifth overall. Burnett, a 2016 Indoor HCAC honorable mention selection, ran mainly on the relay squads a year ago, totaling seven top six finishes in seven events.

A third returning sprinter for the women is senior Erika Jervis (Cicero, Ind.), who was also an indoor HCAC honorable mention pick last season. Jervis is currently a member of the 4x400m relay record holding group, which set its mark at 4:12.22 at last year’s HCAC Championships, finishing third. Jervis also logged a top eight finish as a solo artist in the 400m race at the conference meet, running a time of 1:05.00. The senior competed in five individual races, placing among the top eight on four separate occasions.

On the men’s side, a pair of seniors in Gavin Alexander (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Enrico Franchini (Sao Paulo, Brazil), along with sophomore Darrell Payne (Indianapolis, Ind.) all return to compete in 2017.

All three runners were a part of last season’s 4x200m relay squad, which set a new school record at the conference championships. The trio, along with 2016 senior Joe Feldmann, raced across the finish line in 1:31.07, placing second in the HCAC.

Alexander is also among the all-time top five at HC in the 400m. The senior placed fourth at the HCAC indoor meet with a time of 51.57, marking the fourth best time in school history. Overall, Alexander logged five finishes inside the top six in the indoor 400m last season. Alexander was also named to the HCAC second team last year.

Franchini, a 2016 indoor second team all-HCAC pick, ran individually at the 60m, 200m, and 400m lengths, recording six finishes inside the top eight. The senior also competed on the 4x200m and 4x400m relay teams. His fastest 200m time of 23.32 at the HCAC Championships marks the fourth fastest time in school history. Franchini also nearly moved inside the top five all-time at HC in the 60m, as his time of 7.27 was just 0.01 second away from tying for fifth. Also a mainstay on the HC soccer team, Franchini picked up second team honors this past fall, recording 10 goals and seven assists in 13 games.

Payne’s first year with the HC squad was a strong one, as he is a member of two relay teams that currently hold school records. The sophomore competed in the 200m and the 400m on three separate occasions each. His best time in the 200m came at DePauw, racing in 23.74 seconds. His top 400m time of 52.17 was just outside the top eight at the HCAC Championships.

Contact: Tyler Jester

See more news.