WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Sophomore Catelyn Griffin won the pole vault and freshman Sara Katherine Kirkpatrick placed second in the high jump to lead the High Point University women’s track & field team at the WSSU Collegiate Invitational on Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Griffin competed in her first outdoor meet since the 2012 Big South Outdoor Championship and cleared 3.20 meters (10-6) to win the pole vault. The mark tied her collegiate best. Freshman Alyssa Palenchar cleared 3.05 meters (10-0) to place second and sophomore Ashton Kirby cleared 2.75 meters (9-0.25) to place third in the pole vault.
“Catelyn jumped with a short approach and tied her PR, so that’s fantastic for her,” said HPU associate head coach Eric Dudley. “It was her first meet of the season after recovering from an injury. She took a lot of time off from full vaulting, which gave her time to work on a lot of details and lay the foundation for a great future. Hopefully today’s performance was an indicator of some of that work.”
Kirkpatrick competed in four events while training for the heptathlon, which she will compete in at the Big South Championship. She placed second in the high jump with a height of 1.50 meters (4-11) and placed 10th in the shot put with a throw of 8.22 meters (26-11.5). On the track, Kirkpatrick took 11th in both the 200-meter (27.39) and 100-meter hurdles (19.88). Freshman Zoey Miller is also training for the heptathlon and placed 17th in the 200 and 10th in the 100-meter hurdles.
“Sara Katherine and Zoey were supposed to compete in a full heptathlon this weekend, but unfortunately there weren’t enough competitors,” said Dudley. “We were able to get them into the day-one events in mostly the right order, so it was still a good introduction for them. They both had some decent performances but showed there’s a lot of room to improve.”
Freshman Christine Rickert placed sixth in the discus with a throw of 29.77 meters (97-8). She is the current Big South Field Performer of the Week after setting the HPU record in the javelin last Saturday.
The Panthers also sent athletes to the Raleigh Relays at NC State on Friday and Saturday. HPU will compete at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational next weekend in Lynchburg, Va.