HPU’s Szalai Sixth In European Under-23 Championship In Track & Field

Posted by Press Release on July 14, 2013 at 6:16 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

Rising sophomore Benji Szalai of the High Point University men’s track & field team placed sixth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase the European Under-23 Championship in Tampere, Finland, on Sunday. Szalai ran a career-best 8:43.65.

Szalai, representing his home country of Hungary, placed sixth in his preliminary heat on Friday. He ran a then-career best time of 8:47.84 and qualified for the final based on his time. Before the European Championship, Szalai’s best time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase was 8:55.16.

Spain’s Abdelaziz Merzoughi, who competed in the 2012 Olympics in London, won the championship in a time of 8:34.64.

In his first season with the Panthers, Szalai earned All-Big South honors in both indoor and outdoor track & field. He placed second in the 3,000-meter and sixth in the mile at the Big South Indoor Championship and took second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and fourth in the 5,000-meter at the Big South Outdoor Championship.

In the steeplechase at the Big South Outdoor Championship, Szalai finished second behind HPU senior Dakota Peachee, who went on to earn All-America honors. The Panthers also had the 2012 conference champion in the 3,000-meter steeplechase – Jacob Smith. Smith has eligibility for the 2013-14 indoor and outdoor track seasons.

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