HPU’s Colo Conquers Steeple Crown On Day Two At Big South

Posted by Press Release on May 15, 2015 at 11:50 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

• Senior Chris Colo won the 3000m steeplechase title with a time of 9:02.99
• Junior Jim Wilson broke his school record by 0.5m in the shot put with a mark of 14.95m to finish fifth
• Redshirt-senior Tristan Faure (6661) and sophomore Eric Purnell (6117) finished third and fifth in the decathlon, respectively

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Senior Chris Colo’s season of pure determination culminated with an exhilarating victory in the 3000m steeplechase on day two of competition at the 2015 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships inside Vert Stadium.

In one of the most thrilling steeple races the Big South will ever see, Colo jumped out to an early lead and surged late during a sizzling final lap to claim the first individual conference title of his career. His time of 9:02.99 was just off his PR and earned 10 points for the Panthers.

“I’m so happy for Chris,” head coach Mike Esposito said. “He’s highly motivated, has a lot of pride and was determined to win. I don’t think anything was going to stop him today.”

HPU took a total of 15 points in a solid steeple race, as junior Benji Szalai finished sixth in 9:21.66 while freshman James Quattlebaum placed seventh in 9:42.09. Senior John Yankello finished a solid ninth (9:57.97) in his final race in an HPU uniform.

The strong steeple showing helped the Panthers vault into third place through two days of competition. HPU has 46.5 points and is right behind second place Coastal Carolina (48.0). Campbell sits in fourth place with 45 points.

Other highlights for the Panthers included junior Jim Wilson, who totaled seven points for HPU with a pair of excellent finishes in throwing events. The Hurricane put together a gale force effort in the shot put, breaking his own HPU school record by 0.5m with an excellent output of 14.95m (49-0.75) to place fifth in the event. Wilson also posted a solid mark of 45.97m (150-10) to place sixth in the discus throw and pick up three more points for the Panthers.

The Purple & White picked up 10 points in the decathlon with a pair of top-5 finishes. Redshirt-senior Tristan Faure placed third with 6661 points, while sophomore Eric Purnell shattered his previous PR by more than 400 points by positing a 6117 composite and finishing fifth.

Faure posted PRs in the 100m hurdles (14.96) and discus throw (39.18m, 128-6), while Purnell notched personal bests in the 100m hurdles (16.37) and pole vault (3.90m, 12-9.5) on Friday.

Junior Adam DeVito added to a strong conference performance by matching his outdoor PR in the high jump (1.91m, 6-3.25) Friday. The mark earned his a tie for seventh after the Miller Place, N.Y., also placed ninth in the long jump.

In preliminary action, junior Paul O’Donoghue posted the top time in the 800m run (1:53.51) to advance to Saturday’s final, where he will be joined by prelim runner up Vinny Todaro (1:53.61).

Freshman James House advanced to Saturday’s final with a second-place showing in the 100m dash (10.70) while junior Nick Hula ran an outdoor PR time of 49.74 in the 400m dash to advance with a seventh-place finish.

“It was such a great day for us,” Esposito said. “The winners are obvious, but there were so many other big performances. Jim Wilson stepping up in the shot and Adam DeVito scoring in the high jump. It was also fantastic to see Nick Hula make the final in the 400m dash. Now we just need to carry this strong momentum into tomorrow’s final day of competition.”

HPU wraps up the 2015 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships Saturday inside Vert Stadium.

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