HIGH POINT, N.C. — The High Point University men’s track & field team hosted the VertKlasse Meeting on Saturday, getting a pair of wins in the performance sections at Vert Stadium. Sophomore Evan Emery broke a 29-year-old HPU record in the 200-meter, running a time of 20.87 into a headwind.
“Obviously Evan is healthy, his training is going very well and he’s gaining some confidence – he has put himself in a position to be among the national leaders,” said HPU head coach Mike Esposito. “Coach [James] Wilson really challenged him in the 200 today and Evan met that challenge.”
Emery got out strong and bested a field that included Jamaal Torrance, who won a gold medal as part of the United States 4×400 relay team at the 2008 World Championship. Emery’s time of 20.87 shattered the HPU record of 21.45 set by Kent Sides in 1983.
The Panthers’ other win came from junior Jacob Smith, who outkicked Duke’s Domenick DeMatteo to win the 1,500-meter in a career-best 3:48.14. Senior Jevin Monds placed 14th in the 1,500.
“Jacob beat some really good runners in the 1,500 – he kept covering the surges of the leaders and had a strong finish,” said Esposito. “He’s starting to show a lot of consistency.”
Freshman Christian Spaulding set a career best in the javelin, throwing it 61.25 meters (200-11) to place second behind Wake Forest’s Ben Lincoln.
HPU sophomore Patrick Crawford ran a career-best 14:38.44 to place second in the 5,000-meter. HPU alumnus and current ZAP Fitness runner Cole Atkins won in 14:17.99. Freshman Jeff LaCoste placed third in 15:11.37 and senior Mike Ali placed fifth in a career-best 15:17.03.
HPU freshman Justin Doehr placed fourth in the 400-meter in a career-best 47.93. The Panthers’ high hurdlers both performed well – senior Alex Fisher placed fifth in 14.81 and sophomore Ryan Venable placed sixth, winning his heat, in 14.85.
High Point had several strong performances in the 800-meter. Freshman Chris Muggler placed seventh in 1:55.25, senior Seth Harwood placed eighth and won his heat in 1:55.37 and freshman Michael Colven placed 12th in 1:56.84. Freshman Evan Gingrich placed third in the 800-meter in 1:57.74 in the participation section earlier in the day. Olympic bronze medalist Bershawn Jackson placed third in the 800-meter in 1:53.79 as part of his training for the 400-meter hurdles.
Doehr, Tristan Faure, Gingrich and Muggler combined to run 3:19.09 in the 4×400 relay, the Panthers’ best time in several seasons. Faure also competed in the long jump, placing fourth with a leap of 6.72 meters (22-0.75) into a headwind. Sophomore Steven Scally placed fourth in the discus with a throw of 40.54 meters (133-0).
“Overall this was a great meet, it’s really a fun event that is managed so well by all of the areas of our Athletic Department,” said Esposito.
High Point will be competing in two meets next weekend. Most of the track athletes will compete in the Raleigh Relays at NC State while most of the field event competitors will be at the Wilbur Ross Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C.