Seymour senior signs to Hanover College track program

After Megan Ritz decided she wanted to continue her athletic career upon graduating from Seymour High School, it was just a matter of finding the right fit.

“At first, I was looking at some bigger schools in Indianapolis,” Ritz said. “I didn’t like it, so I visited Franklin and Hanover. When I visited Hanover, I spoke with (women’s track coach Brian) Power. I felt like it was the best match for me with both athletics and academics.”

On Wednesday, Ritz signed her letter of intent to join the Panthers.

“I’m going to do high jump, and they’ve talked to me about doing some more sprints,” Ritz said. “In May, I will get the recruitment list and a list of events. I will be placed from there.”

Hanover, an NCAA Division III school, competes in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Ritz has worked as the Owls’ No. 1 high jumper over the past few seasons. Her best jump in practice is 5 feet, 1 inch and top make in a meet is 5 feet.

“It’s always awesome when you get the chance to send an athlete to the next level,” Seymour girls track and field coach Spencer Sunbury said. “It says a lot … accepting the challenge and opportunity. She has faced some adversity the past couple years with injury, and I’ve been so impressed with how she has come back.”

When Ritz visited Hanover for the first time, she said she liked the campus and getting to know some of the athletes.

“When I went down there, I did an overnight visit,” she said. “The sprint group, I think, will be really close. They aren’t losing any high jumpers, and I know I will be toward the middle coming in. Once I get some more coaching in through indoor season, I’m hoping to move up.”

Ritz, who also started on the basketball team, wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue athletics after high school.

“I spoke with (basketball) coach (Jason) Longmeier, and he believed in me and told me it was something I could do,” Ritz said. “He pushed me and gave me some advice through basketball season. I decided I didn’t want to give up on sports. It gives me something to look forward to and will help me with my time management.”

Longmeier said Hanover is getting a great athlete.

“I know our program is much better because of her,” he said. “I’m excited she gets to continue doing the thing she loves doing.”

The senior believes she will learn a lot from college athletics.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity,” Ritz said. “It gives me a taste of being in the real world but also doing some of the same things I did in high school. I’ll learn time management between school and athletics. I think I will learn a lot through it.”

Ritz plans on studying secondary physical education and health.