HPU’s Rickert Breaks Javelin Record at Wake Forest Open

Posted by Press Release on March 21, 2015 at 10:10 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

• Junior Christine Rickert broke her own school record in the javelin with a mark (48.13m, 157-11) that will qualify her for NCAA Preliminary competition
• Junior Alyssa Palenchar matched her own HPU school record with a vault of 3.70m (12-1.5)
• Senior Leah Anne Wirfel won the 3000m run in a time of 10:04.52

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Junior thrower Christine RIckert broke her own school record in the javelin throw while junior Alyssa Palenchar matched her own HPU mark in the pole vault to lead the High Point University women’s track & field team on a strong day of competition at the Wake Forest Open.

“What a tale of two days yesterday and today was,” associate head coach Eric Dudley said. “Yesterday was cold and damp, and we had a couple of experienced veterans make some missteps that cost them making finals. Today was a beautiful spring day, and we broke some records and really had an enjoyable showing.”

Rickert put together an impressive throw of 48.13m (157-11) to finish fourth out of 42 competitors in the javelin. The mark eclipsed her previous high of 47.78m (156’9) set in April 2013.

“Chrissy punched her ticket to Jacksonville [NCAA Championships Preliminary] in the javelin with her record-breaking mark,” Dudley said. “That was a great javelin competition, and she’ll see several of them again at the end of May at NCAAs.”

In addition to Rickert’s exceptional performance, Palenchar’s vault of 3.70m (12-1.5) matched her previous top mark set in May 2014 and earned the Bradenville, Pa., native a fourth-place finish in Winston. Junior Jill Marois and senior Catelyn Griffin each posted marks of 3.55m (11-7.75) to finish tied for sixth.

Senior Leah Anne Wirfel led the Panthers on the track by winning an individual title in the 3000m run. The New Germany, Pa., native crossed the finish line in 10:04.52. It marked Wirfel’s first individual outdoor title since April 2012.

“Leah Anne was dominant in the 3000m, dropping the whole field about half way through the race and pacing the second half all on her own,” Dudley said. “She’s really emerged as a contender this year.”

Sophomore Cozette Collin placed 11th in the 3000m (10:44.84) while senior Krista Willard was 12th in a collegiate PR of 10:54.10. Junior Sarah Bode placed 22nd in 11:23.68 and senior Lauren Blackwell finished 28th in 11:48.58.

Also on the track, freshman Ashlynn Schiro made her collegiate debut in the 400m hurdles and earned a solid eighth-place finish in a time of 1:04.27. Junior Lilla Lorand finished 10th (1:04.57) while freshman CeAnna Soper was 20th (1:07.04). Fellow freshman Haley Cianfarini placed 33rd (1:11.25).

“It was fun to watch Lilla and Ashlyn battle in the 400m hurdles,” Dudley said. “It’s fun to see a spirited freshman rattling the old guard. Both are great teammates – very supportive. Lilla’s been like a big sister to our fab-freshmen. That kind of competition among teammates will help both of them elevate their game.”

Senior Emily Fischer led the Panthers with a 54th-place finish out of 122 competitors in the 200m dash (26.68) while freshman Kela Seals (27.73), sophomore Jessica Wise (27.74) and sophomore Alexis Fernandez (27.76) finished 86th, 87th and 88th, respectively.

In jumps action, sophomore Amanda Gregory placed ninth in the long jump with a mark of 5.32m (17-5.5) while Fernandez finished 43rd (4.31m, 14-1.75).

“Amanda started her outdoor season with a bang, jumping 5.32m to make the finals,” Dudley said. “She thought about it less, and relied on her preparation more, competed well and the result was very good.”

Sophomore Madison Depner finished fourth in the B-Section of the pole vault with a mark of 3.05m (10-0).

The Panthers return to action at one of the most important meets of the season next weekend. A number of HPU student-athletes will look to put together NCAA-caliber times and marks at the Raleigh Relays March 27-28.

In addition, a pod of Panthers will head to Rock Hill, S.C. for the Winthrop Invitational March 27-28.

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