Men’s Track Posts Six-Team Sweep at HPU Challenge

Posted by Press Release on February 13, 2015 at 3:51 am under College | Comments are off for this article

• HPU swept all six of its dual opponents and finishes the dual season with a perfect 11-0 mark in head-to-head competition
• Junior Jim Wilson broke his own school record in the shot put with a mark of 14.25m (46-9)
• Junior Dennis Crawford won the 60m hurdles title (8.37) while junior Austin Miller finished first in the pole vault (5.00m, 16-5)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The High Point University men’s track & field team wrapped up a perfect dual season with a six-team sweep Thursday at the HPU Team Challenge at the JDL Fast Track.

The Panthers earned head-to-head victories over league foe Campbell (66-45), Appalachian State (79-17), UNCG (84-18), Furman (71-31), The Citadel (77-34) and Davidson (70-39). With the wins, HPU finishes the dual season with a perfect 11-0 record.

“I’d like to thank the team for giving our indoor season an emotional lift tonight,” associate head coach Eric Dudley said. “After several weeks of heavy travel and mediocre results, our team embraced its home field advantage and came to life. I feel a renewed sense of encouragement and optimism heading into Big South Championships. The team celebrated strong individual performances on the way to wins over all six opponents.”

In the shot put, junior Jim Wilson led the Panthers with a extraordinary performance by setting a new school record of 14.25m (46-9). The mark earned him a third place finish and was .09m greater than his previous program-record mark set earlier this season.

Redshirt-senior decathlete Tristan Faure (11.99m, 39-4), freshman Matt Hollis (10.82m, 35-6), sophomore Eric Purnell (10.78m, 35-4.25, 35-0.75) and senior Christian Spaulding (10.38m) took spots eight through 11.

Crawford captured the 60m hurdles title in a time of 8.37 seconds while Faure was third in 8.59 seconds. Purnell finished sixth in 9.02 seconds and Hollis was ninth (9.24).

Senior Austin Miller missed his own school record by just .05m while winning the pole vault title with a mark of 5.00m (16-5). Freshman Todd Uckermark placed fourth with a mark of 4.70m (15-5) and junior Harris Coley finished third (4.40m, 14-5.25). Sophomores Jose San Miguel and Isaiah Henderson rounded out the HPU contingent in fourth and fifth with marks of 4.25m (13-11.25).

“The men posted 24 seasons best performances tonight,” Dudley added. “We posted program best marks of the season in the mile, the 3000m, the 4×400, and the shot put. Jim again broke new ground by breaking the school record in the shot put. He asked to stay home from competition last weekend to get some more practice reps in, and you could see it paying off today. Dennis picked up a win tonight in the hurdles, before retiring from the meet early due to illness. He’ll rest up this weekend and be ready to roll next week. Andrew Kuras had a really good day, with second place finishes in both the 60m and the 200m.”

In the mile run, junior Benji Szalai led HPU in fifth place (4:17.55) and junior Paddy Grandinali posted a new career best time (4:17.92) en route to a seventh place finish. Junior Paul O’Donoghue also notched a new indoor PR while placing 11th in 4:20.45, while freshman Ryan Udvadia was 13th in 4:21.03.

Grandinali excelled in the 3000m while finishing second in the event (8:32.66) and senior Chris Colo was fifth in a collegiate PR of 8:47.17. Junior Cody Seymour placed seventh (8:51.29) and redshirt-senior John Yankello was ninth (8:53.79). Sophomore Chernet Sisay finished 14h in 8:58.02.

HPU took two of the top-5 spots in the 60m dash, as junior Nick Kuras set a new indoor PR (7.00) while finishing second and freshman James House was fourth in a time of 7.14.

Kuras also placed second in the 200m dash (22.83) and junior Nick Hula finished ninth in 23.62 seconds.

In the 800m run, sophomore Luke Goodrich placed fourth in a season-best time of 1:57.50 while freshman Keegan Hanks was 12th in 2:02.16. Sophomore Nick Williams finished 18th in 2:04.24.

On the jumps circuit, Faure placed second in the high jump (1.90m, 6-3) and Hollis finished fourth (1.70m, 5-7). In the long jump, junior Will Narramore finished third (6.53m, 21-5) and sophomore Pat Irwin was eighth (5.56m, 18-3) and fellow sophomore Andrew Mahon finished ninth (5.37m, 17-7.5).

HPU wrapped up the day with a third-place showing in the 4x400m relay. The team of Hula, Crawford, Goodrich and O’Donoghue completed the event in 3:27.76 and just missed out on second place after a late charge from O’Donoghue on the anchor leg.

“Luke competed well going deep under 2:00 in the 800m,” Dudley said. “Paddy competed like a Panther in the 3000m and battled back and forth against a tough Furman squad. Our milers lit it up, with all four of them posting season best times. We now hold five of the top eight mile spots in the Big South this season.”

“Our jack-of-all-trades Tristan Faure really looked sharp this evening. He was at or above his lifetime best in all three of his events this evening. He says he’s feeling springier and more reactive than he has in a long time. I’m excited to see him line it up and chase that Big South title in the heptathlon this year. He was the Big South decathlon champion in 2013”

HPU returns to action Feb. 20-21 at the Kent Taylor Invite in Chapel Hill, N.C.

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