High Point University junior Jacob Smith ran a career-best and Big South-leading 14:01.61 in the 5,000-meter on Friday evening at the Colonial Relays in Williamsburg, Va. The time ranks No. 2 in HPU history and crushed his previous best of 14:30.42.
“The conditions were perfect and the competition was great for Jacob tonight,” said HPU head coach Mike Esposito. “There were a few spots in the race where he got separated from the leaders but he responded well. I know Jacob wanted to run under 14 minutes but this was still a great race for him. It was a really good day with Evan Emery running so well in Florida too.”
Virginia’s Sean Keveren won the race in 13:48.34 and Duquesne’s Jim Spisak took second in 13:50.44. There were seven runners under 14:00 with Smith crossing the finish line eighth. Smith beat out nine other runners in the heat and 58 others in the race.
Smith’s time of 14:01.61 was just off the High Point University record of 13:59.43 set by Tamas Kovacs in 2008. Smith now ranks No. 2 all-time at HPU ahead of No. 3 Jesse Cherry (14:07.25) and No. 4 Taylor Milne (14:08.78).
Emery ran a U.S. Olympic Trials ‘B’ standard time of 10.28 seconds, placing fifth in the 100-meter dash at the Florida Relays on Friday.
The majority of the team is competing in the Duke Invitational on Friday and Saturday. High Point competes in the Johnson C. Smith Invitational next weekend before heading to the Big South Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C., April 19-21.