HPU Men’s Track Second Going Into Big South Championship Final Day

Posted by Press Release on April 18, 2014 at 10:49 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The High Point University men’s track & field team ranked second through two days of the Big South Championship. Senior Patrick Crawford led three Panthers who went 2-3-4 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to finish Friday’s events.

The Panthers ranked second with 42 points behind Liberty (103) and ahead of Coastal Carolina (33). Gardner-Webb ranked fourth with 31 points followed by Charleston Southern (25), VMI (16) and Campbell (13). UNC Asheville (five), Radford (three) and Winthrop (two) rounded out the field.

In pouring rain at the end of the day’s events, Crawford passed redshirt-senior Jacob Smith on the final lap as the two finished second and third, respectively, behind Liberty’s Josh MacDonald in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. MacDonald finished in 8:55.02 followed by Crawford in 8:59.89 and Smith in 9:13.29. Junior Chris Colo placed fourth in the race with a time of 9:13.29. For Crawford and Colo, the times were career bests.

In the day’s first event, junior Christian Spaulding placed third in the javelin with a throw of 61.50 meters (201-9) on his first attempt. Freshman Drew Francoeur placed eighth with a throw of 53.71 meters (176-2), which he threw on his final attempt to get into scoring position.

Freshman Eric Purnell finished seventh in the decathlon for the Panthers, scoring 5,708 points. He was the decathlon’s top finisher in the 100-meter dash (11.07) on Thursday and the 400-meter (50.42) on Friday. The only other HPU competitor in a final on Friday was Jim Wilson, who placed 17th in the shot put with a throw of 13.29 meters (43-7.25).

In Friday’s preliminaries, several Panthers passed through to Saturday’s finals. Senior Evan Emery, who won both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes last year, qualified for the finals in both events. He ran a time of 10.71 to win his heat of the 100-meter and was the eighth and final qualifier in the 200-meter with a time of 21.96.

Sophomore Dennis Crawford won his heat of the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.28. He also qualified for the finals of the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.69 along with sophomore Nick Hula, who ran a time of 55.91.

In the middle-distance events, sophomore Paul O’Donoghue qualified for the finals of both the 800-meter and 1,500-meter. He won his heat of the 800-meter in 1:55.22 and placed fourth in his heat to automatically qualify in the 1,500, running a time of 3:59.43. Sophomore Eddie Whitlock also qualified for the final in the 800-meter, winning his heat in 1:56.46.

On Thursday night, junior Jeff LaCoste placed third and sophomore Paddy Grandinali placed fourth in the 10,000-meter. Will Narramore took sixth in the long jump.

The meet wraps up on Saturday starting at 12:30 p.m. Competition was moved back 90 minutes due to rainy weather predicted in the morning. The first men’s event is the discus, where Wilson is competing in the second flight.

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