HPU Men’s Track and Field Grabs A Win in the Distance Medley Relay at the Tiger Paw Invitational

Posted by Press Release on February 10, 2013 at 12:11 am under College | Comments are off for this article

CLEMSON, S.C. – An exciting win in the Distance Medley Relay highlighted the High Point University men’s track & field team’s performance at the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, S.C., on Friday and Saturday. The team of senior Dakota Peachee, sophomore Jeff LaCoste and freshmen Nick Hula and Benji Szalai picked up the win for HPU.

“This was a well-rounded meet for us,” head coach Mike Esposito said. “We made sure to get a lot of our guys qualified for the conference championship this weekend. The Distance Medley Relay is a great mix of runners and to win the event says a lot about the talent we have this season.”

The Panther foursome finished the DMR with a time of 10:13.17 on Friday to pick up the win. Peachee ran a strong 800-meters in the third leg with a split of 1:53.40. Szalai ran the mile for the final leg of the race and used a strong finish to cross the finish line just one one-hundredth of a second ahead of Wilkerson Given from Furman to pick up the win.

Junior Evan Emery ran the 200-meters in the time of 22.62 to finish seventh in the elite invitational race. The race was tight throughout with all seven finishers crossing the line within a span of .94 seconds.

Freshman Adam DeVito continued his strong form in the long jump with an eighth-place finish in the event. The freshman cleared 6.88 meters (22-7) on his second jump of the day. It was DeVito’s second-longest jump of the season, just shy of his career-best of 6.89 meters which he set at the Liberty Open.

Freshman Dennis Crawford and junior Ryan Venable each qualified for the 60-meter hurdles final on Saturday. Crawford finished in fourth with a time of 8.44 while Venable finished in seventh with a time of 8.79.

Szalai returned to action and posted the Panthers’ top time in the mile run, finishing in 4:14.23 to come in sixth in the race. The time by the freshman was the best by an HPU runner during the 2013 indoor season.

Senior Patrick Crawford also finished sixth on Saturday for High Point, crossing the line with a time of 8:38.31 in the 3,000-meters. Freshman Paddy Grandinali also finished in the top 12 in the event with a time of 8:44.50.

Freshman Paul O’Donoghue bested his previous career-best time on the 400-meter dash with a time of 51.31, the top time by any HPU runner in the event this season.

In the field events, freshman Austin Miller continued to improve on his career-high in the pole vault, clearing 4.60 meters (15-1) to finish in fifth in the event.

The Panthers will compete in one final meet before the Big South Championships, heading to nearby Winston-Salem, N.C., to take part in the JDL Fast Track Championship Tuneup on Feb. 16. The event will be held at the same venue as this season’s Big South Championship.

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