HPU Women’s Track Matches Program Best At Big South Championship

Posted by Press Release on April 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The High Point University women’s track & field team matched its best-ever finish at the Big South Outdoor Championship, finishing third at the conclusion of the meet on Monday in Rock Hill, S.C. Down 14 points with the women’s pole vault remaining, sophomores Jill Marois and Alyssa Palenchar finished 1-2 to lift HPU past Campbell for third place.

“It was a really solid team effort, our kids dealt with the weather throughout the week and we had a lot of people come through,” said HPU head coach Mike Esposito. “Our goal earlier in the year was top four, and after the indoor season we upped the goal to top three.

“Our distance runners really stepped up, especially Cozette Collin as our high scorer. The pole vaulters stepped up and Christine Rickert did her job in the javelin. We chipped away with points in other events. It was great to match our best program finish. We’re headed in the right direction.”

The Panthers scored 21 points in the pole vault, the final event, to vault past Campbell for third place. Coastal Carolina won the championship with 216 points followed by Liberty at 176.5 and High Point at 92. Campbell finished fourth with 85 points followed by Charleston Southern (67), Winthrop (52), Gardner-Webb (46), UNC Asheville (33), Radford (29) and VMI (20.5).

The pole vault competition began on Friday and was suspended due to rainy conditions. At the time, Marois was the only vaulter who cleared the winning height of 3.57 meters (11-8.5). Five others had one attempt remaining at that height. Palenchar and Gardner-Webb’s Elise Moffatt both cleared 3.57 on their only attempts and Palenchar claimed the runner-up spot due to tiebreakers. The Panthers totaled 21 points in the event as junior Catelyn Griffin and freshman Madison Depner tied for seventh place, both clearing 3.27 meters (10-8.75).

Marois joined sophomore Christine Rickert as HPU’s 2014 Big South individual champs. Rickert won the javelin on Friday with a meet-record throw of 47.22 meters (154-11).

The Panthers persevered through severe rain on Friday and Saturday to put themselves in position to move up to third place. Collin scored 15 points with a runner-up finish in the 1,500-meter (4:43.72), fifth place in the 5,000-meter (17:44.79) and a sixth-place showing in the 800-meter (2:21.17). Sophomore Julia Zautcke debuted in the 10,000-meter on Thursday, placing third with a time of 36:59.70, before coming back to place third in the 5,000-meter with a time of 17:32.64 on Saturday.

The Panthers had a great showing in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Friday. Senior Audrey Malloy took third in 11:04.08, freshman Natalia Ocasio placed fourth (11:12.89) and sophomore Katie Farina placed fifth (11:15.27). In the high jump, sophomore Erica Herrmann placed fifth and freshman Jenny Mara took sixth, both clearing 1.60 meters (5-3).

It was the fourth time High Point placed third in the Big South Championship following 2002, 2003 and 2009. HPU’s 92 points were the team’s fourth-most at a Big South Outdoor Championship, following those three years.

High Point will have several athletes competing beyond the Big South Championship. The next meet on the schedule is the Liberty Twilight Qualifier on April 30.

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