Kelsey Hunt’s Win Highlights the High Point University Women’s Track and Field Performance at the Liberty Open

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Senior Kelsey Hunt picked up a win in the 3,000-meters to lead the High Point University women’s track and field team at the Liberty Open in Lynchburg, Va., on Friday and Saturday. Six other HPU athletes, all freshmen, recorded top-five finishes.

“There were a lot of positives to take out of these past two days,” head coach Mike Esposito said. “I am pleased with the way Kelsey ran today. She is an incredibly motivated senior who is performing well. Our freshmen continue to make nice strides as they put up better heights, distances and times each time they go out there. I feel like they still have room to grow and better numbers are around the corner.”

Hunt finished the 3,000 with a time of 10:20.55 to pick up the win in the event. She was followed by freshman Julia Zautcke who came in fourth with a career-best time of 10:42.14. Hunt and Zautcke were the top two finishers among the Big South Conference athletes participating in the event.

The Panthers featured two top-five finishers in the pole vault on Friday. Freshman Jill Marois came in third with a career-best vault of 3.30 meters (10-10) which tied the HPU Div. I indoor record. Freshman Alyssa Palenchar finished fifth with a career-best vault of 3.15 meters (10-4).

Freshman Sara Katherine Kirkpatrick completed her first collegiate pentathlon on Friday, finishing in fourth with a total of 2587 points. Kirkpatrick won the 800-meters with a time of 2:32.92 and tied for first in the high jump with a height of 1.49 meters (4-10.5). She finished fourth in the shot put, sixth in the long jump and seventh in the 60-meters hurdles.

Freshman Erica Herrmann tied for the top finish of the day for High Point on Saturday with a third-place showing in the High Jump. Herrmann cleared a career-best 1.55 meters (5-1). Fellow freshman Olivia Orrill finished in seventh with a career-best height of 1.50 meters (4-11).

Freshman Lilla Loránd had the best finish on the track for the Panthers at the Liberty Open, coming in third in the 200-meter dash on Saturday. Loránd finished with a time career-best time of 26.33 in the event.

Sophomore Sarah Dorrell also got into the top eight for HPU, finishing sixth in the mile with a career-best time of 5:18.96.

High Point continues its indoor season next weekend when the team will take part in the JDL Hilton Garden Invitational in Winston, Salem, N.C., on Feb. 1-2. The Invitational will be the third competition that HPU has taken part in this season at the JDL Fast Track, the host site of the 2013 Big South Indoor Track and Field Championship.