Women’s Track Wins Five Of Six Duals At HPU Challenge

Posted by Press Release on February 13, 2015 at 3:54 am under College | Comments are off for this article

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The High Point University women’s track & field team won five of six dual matchups during a successful Thursday of competition at the HPU Team Challenge at the JDL Fast Track.

The Panthers earned head-to-head victories over Campbell (68-36), Appalachian State (72-28), Furman (71-30), Davidson (72.50-30.50) and the Citadel (67-43) and fell to Elon (66-49). After Thursday’s solid performance, HPU finishes the dual season with a 10-1 head-to-head 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 team wins over five of six opponents.”

Junior Alyssa Palenchar earned her third pole vault title of the season Thursday after posting a vault of 3.65m (11-11.75). Fellow junior Jill Marois finished second and matched her career best mark (3.65m) and senior Catelyn Griffin matched her indoor PR en route to a third place showing (3.50m, 11-5.75). Senior Ashton Kirby was seventh with an indoor PR of 3.05m (10-0) and senior Veronica Peskoskey competed unattached and earned an eighth-place finish (2.90m, 9-6).

HPU took two of the top-10 spots in the mile run, led by sophomore Natalia Ocasio who finished third in a collegiate PR time of 5:05.37. Senior Leah Anne Wirfel was seventh in 5:08.63, while sophomore Cozette Collin (5:20.56) and junior Katie Farina (5:23.67) placed 12th and 16th, respectively. Junior Erika Peoples earned a 17th-place finish (5:24.51) and junior Julia Zautcke was 19th in 5:26.09.

Four Panthers set new indoor collegiate PRs in a strong 3000m race for High Point. Freshman Kelly Hayes crossed the finish line to place third in a collegiate PR of 10:27 while sophomore Natalia Ocasio was fifth in a time of 10:34.18. Senior Krista Willard bested her previous personal best mark by 14 seconds while finishing seventh (10:37.07) and junior Sarah Bode eclipsed her PR by more than 35 seconds during a 20th place finish (11:15.45). Senior Lauren Blackwell was 25th in 11:37.27.

Freshman Ashlynn Schiro set a collegiate PR of 9.18 seconds in the 60m hurdles en route to a third-place finish in the event. Fellow freshmen Haley Cianfarini (9.52), Mikaela Campbell (9.67) and CeAnna Soper (9.80) took spots five through seven, while sophomore Erika Bridges finished ninth in 10.20 seconds.

In the 60m dash, junior Emily De Lena posted a strong second-place finish (8.00 seconds) while freshman Mikaela Campbell was just milliseconds behind while posting a collegiate PR time and a third-place showing. Sophomores Amanda Gregory (8.14) and Alyn Carr (8.22) and junior Jamie Schnuck (8.23) took spots six through eight in the event.

Senior Emily Fischer led the way in the 200m dash with an 11th-place finish (27:38), while sophomore Jessica Wise placed 17th in 28.25.

Collin was HPU’s lone participant in the 800m run and finished 17th in 2:27.54. Freshman Kela Seals finished 19th in 28.60 and Cianfarini was 21st in 28.66.

In throws action, junior Jamie Schnuck finished eighth in the shot put with a mark of 11.36m (37-3.25) while junior Sara Katherine Kirkpatrick placed 10th (9.92m, 32-6.5). Senior Christine Rickert finished 11th (9.79m, 32-1.5).

On the jumps circuit, Bridges set a new indoor PR while finishing second in the high jump (1.55m, 5-1). Kirkpatrick and junior Erica Herrmann tied for third with a mark of 1.50m (4-11). In the long jump, sophomore Alexis Fernandez earned a fourth-place finish (5.14m, 16-10.25) while Schiro was fifth (5.13m, 16-10). Seals finished seventh (5.09m, 16-8.25) and Carr was ninth (4.89m, 16-0.5).

The Panthers wrapped up the night with a fifth-place finish in the 4x400m relay (4:01.36). The HPU quartet included De Lena, Schiro, Fischer and junior Lilla Lorand.

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

Quotes From Coach Dudley:

“The women posted 30 season best performances tonight. We posted program best marks of the season in the 60m, the mile, the 3000m run, the 60m hurdles, the 4x400m relay, the high Jump and the shot put.”

“Our vaulters again went 1 thru 3 with championship caliber performances. Ashlynn’s athleticism was on display tonight as she improved her collegiate best in the hurdles. Kelly and Natalia picked up vital team points going 3-5 in the 3000m. And Natalie and Leah Anne posted mile times that currently rank them fourth and sixth in the Big South. In the 4×400 we posted our best time of the indoor season in a race where four teams were separated by only 2 seconds. We had a great team effort in the long jump tonight with three long jumpers over 5m. It’s going to be competitive to even make the conference team (top 4) in that event.”

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