After two decades away from the track, former Ashland University All-American Jan Hoverstock-Rogers is competing as if she never left.
Hoverstock-Rogers, a 1996 Ashland graduate, is in her second year of training and competing as a sprinter/relay runner/long jumper after not competing for 20 years. That work has resulted in four gold medals and a new American club record just in the last month alone.
"I guess we're able to go to the best of the best and learn," said Hoverstock-Rogers. "Camps, Spire Institute – that really propelled my learning. I feel like I'm still a freshman. It's like I'm back as a freshman. So this will be (like) my sophomore year I'm going into."
As an Eagle, Hoverstock-Rogers was a member of the women's 4x100 relay team which finished fourth (46.53 seconds) at 1996 outdoor nationals. She still boasts the program's freshman outdoor record in the women's 100-meter dash (12.21 seconds).
Fast forward two decades, and after training less than a full calendar year, Hoverstock-Rogers ranked as the fastest American woman age 40-44 in the indoor 60 dash (8.2 seconds) and the second-fastest in the outdoor 100 dash (13.0 seconds).
Hoverstock-Rogers nearly duplicated that outdoor 100 time on April 22 at the Jesse Owens Track Classic in Columbus, Ohio. She "won" the event in 13.33 seconds – because she was the only one running.
"It was very surreal," she said. "Everybody was so supportive. I knew I was going to race by myself. I never usually hear people when I race, because I'm just so focused on that. But I could hear the crowd. And once I got done with that race, people were just clapping like crazy.
"I got up on the bleachers, and I probably got 50 high-fives."
Hoverstock-Rogers has been busy – and successful – of late. In mid-July at the 2017 USA Track & Field Masters Outdoor Championships in Baton Rouge, La., she was part of a winning and American club record-setting 4x1 relay team (52.21 seconds), was third in both the 100 (13.31 seconds) and 200 (27.40 seconds) dash and fourth in the long jump (4.41 meters).
That was a warmup for the weekend Hoverstock-Rogers had on Aug. 11-13 at the North and Central America and Caribbean Region of World Masters Athletics Championships in Toronto, Ontario, Canada – four gold medals in the 100 (12.92 seconds), 200 (26.84 seconds), 4x1 (55.29 seconds) and long jump (4.30 meters).
Hoverstock-Rogers feels a sense of pride representing Ashland University and the city of Ashland at national and international competitions.
"That's a huge deal for me," she said. "Being here from Ashland, the support and love I get from Ashland has been phenomenal. From (AU head track and field coach) Jud Logan to the coaches, it's been phenomenal."
Hoverstock-Rogers will start her next season indoors on Oct. 1, with her first meet on Dec. 1.