Hunt’s Sixth Leads HPU on First Day of Big South Track Competition

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Junior Kelsey Hunt placed sixth in the 10,000-meter and junior Lynee Pina took eighth in the javelin to lead the High Point University women’s track & field team in the Big South Championship on Saturday at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Panthers rank ninth through four events.

“Kelsey Hunt had a decent performance running 37:39 in her first 10K on the track,” said HPU head coach Mike Esposito. “Leah Anne Wirfel and Lauren Blackwell ran OK but didn’t get into the scoring. We have a lot of important events tomorrow so we’ll see how it unfolds.”

Hunt placed sixth in 37:39.42 in her debut 10,000-meter. She was in the top six for the whole race and came in just behind Caroline Ratterree of Radford (37:34.33) while holding off Campbell’s Cynthia Navarro (37:41.91). Wirfel placed ninth, just out of the scoring, with a time of 38:16.74 and Blackwell took 11th in her first 10K with a time of 38:21.41.

Pina was the first Panther to score a point in the meet when she placed eighth in the javelin. She threw the javelin 35.51 meters (116-6). She will come back to throw the discus on Saturday morning.

The Panthers began the meet with three competitors in the long jump led by sophomore Kaitlin Whittington, who placed 14th with a season-best distance of 5.36 meters (17-7). Sophomore Megan Lowery placed 18th with a distance of 4.82 meters (15-9.75) and senior Shamia Brown placed 19th at 4.79 meters (15-8.75). Whittington will compete in the triple jump on Saturday and all three will compete in running events.

Through four events — the hammer, long jump, javelin and 10,000-meter — Coastal Carolina leads the meet with 54 points followed by Liberty at 37. Gardner-Webb ranks third with 14 points followed by UNC Asheville (13), Radford (11) and Winthrop (10). Campbell ranked seventh with eight points followed by Charleston Southern (five) and High Point (four).

The meet resumes on Friday at noon. High Point’s first event will be the 1,500-meter at 3 p.m. Sophomore Kayleigh Perry and junior Kelsey Paine will be competing for the Panthers. Senior Manika Gamble will run the trials of both the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles.