Gamble leads HPU Women’s Track in Raleigh Relays

RALEIGH, N.C. — Senior Manika Gamble placed fifth in the 100-meter hurdles to lead the High Point University women’s track & field team at the Raleigh Relays on Friday and Saturday at NC State. The Panthers’ 4×1500-meter relay team also placed fifth.

“That was probably the most aggressive I’ve seen Manika run in the hurdles, it was a really strong race for her in the finals today,” said HPU head coach Mike Esposito. “Our 4×1500 relay was really solid with all of the runners around 4:50. It was especially good for Kayleigh Perry, who had a PR in the 5K last night. Kelsey Hunt and Lauren Blackwell also ran well in the 5K.”

Gamble placed fifth in the finals of the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.00 seconds, just off her career best of 13.96 set in 2010. She qualified for the finals by placing seventh in the trials in 14.15 on Friday. Gamble also ran the 100-meter dash for the first time this season, placing 34th in 12.41 in the preliminaries on Friday.

HPU’s 4×1500-meter relay team placed fifth in 19:20.29. The team was comprised of freshman Sarah Dorrell, sophomore Audrey Malloy, senior Kelsey Fraser and sophomore Kayleigh Perry. Michigan State won the race in 18:27.95.

On Friday, Perry and junior Kelsey Hunt both ran career bests in the 5,000-meter. Perry finished seventh in her section in 17:42.30 and Hunt was right behind in 17:42.55. Junior Kelsey Paine ran a career-best 4:54.77 to place 23rd in her section of the 1,500-meter. Senior Kelsey Hinchliffe placed 50th in that section.

Three freshmen made their outdoor debuts in the distance events — Lauren Blackwell was runner-up in her section of the 5,000-meter in 18:21.95 and Krista Willard placed 17th in the same section. Freshman Leah Anne Wirfil made her debut in the 10,000-meter, placing 32nd in 38:26.78.

High Point had two runners in the 400-meter — freshman Emily Fischer finished in 1:00.91 and sophomore Shannon Corbett checked in at 1:02.61.

HPU sent most of its field event competitors to the Wilbur Ross Invitational at Winston-Salem State this weekend. High Point will compete in the Duke Invitational next week in Durham, N.C.