HPU Men/Women’s Track & Field At Big South Indoors

Posted by Press Release on February 28, 2015 at 2:31 am under College | Comments are off for this article

Women’s Track and Field (Men Below)
• Senior Leah Anne Wirfel set a new school record in the 5000m run (17:25.44) en route to a second-place finish
• HPU’s 64.66 points marked the highest High Point total since 2009 and the third-most in program history
• Sophomore Natalia Ocasio posted a collegiate PR of 5:05.04 to finish sixth in the one mile run and was seventh in the 800 run (2:21.94)

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University women’s track & field team put forth a number of strong finishes in the pole vault and in distance action to earn a fourth place finish at the Big South Indoor Championships Friday at the JDL Fast Track.

HPU took the top-3 spots in Thursday’s pole vault and also earned solid showings in the 3000m and 5000m runs to post the top-4 finish. HPU’s 64.66 points marked the Panthers’ highest total since 2009 and third best showing ever.

Coastal Carolina won the meet with a total of 196.5 points. Liberty finished second (140) while Radford was third with 69 points. After HPU (64.66 points), Campbell finished fifth (60.50), followed by Gardner-Webb (43.83), Charleston Southern (37), Winthrop (34.5) and UNC Asheville (17).

Senior Leah Anne Wirfel starred for the Panthers on day two of competition. In her final Big South indoor meet, the New Germany, Pa., native set a new school record time of 17:25.44 to finish second in the 5000m run. The mark was 18 seconds faster than her previous indoor best time in the event. In addition to Wirfel, senior Krista Willard finished fourth in a time of 18:04.13, while junior Julia Zautcke was fifth in 18:06.28. Willard’s finish was 16 spots better than her 2014 placement in the 5000m run and set a new indoor collegiate PR by close to 15 seconds. Junior Erika Peoples also competed and finished 14th in 18:44.74.

“The women again exceeded their projected capacity leading into the meet,” associate head coach Eric Dudley said. “We had some real bright spots, like the 5000m, the 3000m, and the pole vault. Leah Anne was a leader this weekend, guiding her teammates to successful finishes in both the 3k and 5k, and was our individual high point scorer on the women’s team putting 12 points in the team bank. We had a chance to be third, only 2.33 points behind Radford going into the last event, the 4x400m relay, but were unable to close the gap.”

In the one mile run, sophomore Natalia Ocasio placed sixth in a collegiate PR of 5:05.04 to earn three points for the Panthers. Freshman Kelly Hayes just missed out on scoring with a ninth-place finish (5:17.55), while junior Katie Farina was 16th in 5:25.59.

Ocasio also earned two points for HPU in the 800m run after finishing seventh in a time of 2:21.94.

Freshman Ashlynn Schiro picked up two points for HPU in the 60m hurdles after posting a seventh-place finish. The Okemos, Mich., native crossed the finish line in 9.23 seconds. Fellow freshman Haley Cianfarini was eighth in 9.33 seconds.

In the 4x400m relay, the HPU team of senior Emily Fischer and juniors Emily De Lena, Lilla Lorand and Sara Katherine Kirkpatrick finished seventh in a time of 4:00.43 to pick up two points for HPU.

Junior Jamie Schnuck was HPU’s lone competitor in the weight throw and placed 16th with a mark of 14.35m (47-1).

In the triple jump, sophomore Alexis Fernandez placed 12th with a mark of 11.16m (36-7.50). Junior Sara Katherine Kirkpatrick was 15th in the high jump (1.50m, 4-11) while sophomore Erika Bridges was 18th.

At the end of the meet, Schnuck was named to the Big South All-Academic Team. The junior carries a 3.98 GPA and is majoring in exercise science.

HPU’s 2015 outdoor track & field season gets under way March 20-21 at the Wake Forest Open in Winston-Salem, N.C.

• The Panthers set a new school record for points (131) earned at a Big South Indoor Championship
• Redshirt-senior Tristan Faure broke his own school record in the heptathlon (5017 points) en route to a first-place finish
• Junior Dennis Crawford won the first 60m hurdles title in school history with a time of 8.35 seconds.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – On the strength of three event victories and a number of other strong finishes, the High Point University men’s track & field team scored a school record 131 points to finish third at the Big South Indoor Championships Friday at the JDL Fast Track.

The third place finish matches last year’s showing, although HPU improved upon its 2014 point total by 23. Liberty won the team title with a total of 235 points while Campbell was second with 146 points. After HPU, Gardner-Webb finished fourth with 79 points while Winthrop (49) and UNC Asheville (15) rounded out the scoring.

Redshirt-senior Tristan Faure shined for HPU on the final day of competition, breaking his own school record in the heptathlon to claim the event title. His 5017 points usurped his previous high of 5000 set at last season’s indoor league meet. After sitting in third place through four events Thursday, Faure won the 60m hurdles (8.52) and pole vault (4.40m, 14-5.25) and finished second in the 1000m run (2:49.58) to surge past the field and into a first-place showing.

The Big South heptathlon title is the first in HPU history.

Junior Dennis Crawford captured the 60m hurdles title with a strong time of 8.35 seconds. Crawford’s Big South hurdles title is the second of his career as the Clover, S.C., native also won the 110m hurdles title at the 2014 Big South Outdoor Championships. It marks the first time an HPU student-athlete has won the league’s 60m hurdles event.

In sprints action, freshman James House ran a fantastic 60m dash en route to a second-place finish. House picked up eight points for HPU after crossing the finish line in 6.97 seconds. Junior Andrew Kuras earned four points for the Panthers with a fifth place finish (7.06 seconds).

House paced HPU again in the 200m dash with another strong race. The freshman posted a season-best time of 22.23 seconds to finish second and earn eight more points for the Panthers. Kuras was right behind in third place with an indoor best time of 22.60.

Junior Paul O’Donoghue just missed victory in the 800m run by .09 seconds as the Franklin, Mass., native placed second to earn eight points for HPU. O’Donoghue posted a time of 1:55.55, while sophomore Luke Goodrich finished sixth in 1:59.34.

The men’s 4x400m relay team put together an excellent race to finish second in a time of 3:24.31. The Panther quartet was composed of O’Donoghue, Goodrich, Crawford and junior Nick Hula.

After finishing fourth in the long jump Thursday, junior Will Narramore matched that showing with a fourth-place finish in the triple jump Friday. The Nashville, Tenn., native picked up five points for HPU with an indoor PR of 14,32m (46-11.75). Sophomore Andrew Mahon placed 10th with a mark of 11.90m.

The Panthers picked up 10 points in the mile run, led by a third-place finish from freshman James Quattlebaum. The Greenville, S.C., native crossed the finish line in a collegiate PR of 4:17.45. O’Donoghue placed fifth in 4:20.88, while junior Benji Szalai was eighth in 4:26.17. Freshman Ryan Udvadia placed ninth in 4:29.03.

In the 5000m run, junior Paddy Grandinali led the Panthers with a sixth-place finish in an indoor PR of 14:51.49. Senior Chris Colo finished seventh in an indoor PR of 14:57.87, while junior Cody Seymour was ninth in 15:17.36. Sophomore Chernet Sisay placed 11th in 15:26.73.

Senior Christian Spaulding just missed his school record weight throw by .12m as the Middletown, N.J., native finished eighth with a mark of 15.63m (51-3.50). The eighth-place showing earned one point for HPU.

“Despite all the ups and downs, the men’s team came out almost exactly as predicted in pre-meet rankings,” associate head coach Eric Dudley said. “We had some great individual performances from Tristan, Austin, Dennis, James House & Andrew Kuras, James Quattlebaum, Paul O’Donoghue, the DMR and the 4x400m relays. Will missed out on the podium, but had a great competitive effort progressively jumping farther and farther as the competition went on.”

“We took care of business on the top end,” Dudley added. “We failed to capitalize on some of the depth related opportunities, picking up the 6th-8th spots that really could have propelled us forward. We appreciate the effort, the heart, and the passion of this team. We need to be better at putting that into generating performance outcomes from that.”

At the end of the meet, O’Donoghue was named the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The junior carries a 3.9 GPA and is majoring in mathematics. He posted a combined 20 points for the Panthers in the 800m run, mile run and 4×400 meter relay.

HPU’s 2015 outdoor track & field season gets under way March 20-21 at the Wake Forest Open in Winston-Salem, N.C.

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