The High Point University women’s track & field team will add five more athletes for the 2013-14 campaign. Jumpers Erika Bridges, Amanda Gregory and Jenny Mara, middle distance runner Michaela Carnino and pole vaulter Madison Depner will join four other recruits at High Point this fall.
“This recruiting class was a lot more targeted after we brought in so many recruits last year,” said associate head coach Eric Dudley. “We’re really improving our depth in the jumps – both horizontal and vertical – and our women’s pole vault program is developing into one of the best in the Big South. With the three middle distance runners we’re adding, we’re bumping up our credibility in some events like the 1,500 that we’ve struggled to score in for the past few seasons.
“The women’s championships have been so close in recent seasons and these nine student-athletes will help us pick up points that will make a huge difference.”
Bridges is a jumper who can contribute in the sprints from Newport News, Va., and a graduate of Warhill High School. She earned All-State and All-District honors in the high jump and as a member of her school’s relay teams. She placed third in the state championship in the high jump and has a career-best of 5-4 in that event. She also brings career bests of 16-2 in the long jump and 26.83 in the 200-meter. Bridges also played four years of varsity field hockey and one year of soccer.
Carnino is a middle distance runner from Foxborough, Mass., where she was a four-year runner and soccer player at Foxborough High School. She has career bests of 3:08.32 in the 1000-meter and 5:18.07 in the mile. As a member of Foxborough’s relay teams, Carnino competed in the New Balance Indoor National Championship as well as the Massachusetts All-State meet.
Depner is a pole vaulter from Mechanicsburg, Pa., and a graduate of Trinity High School. She earned All-America honors in 2012 and set a career-best and school record of 11-6 in the pole vault in 2013. She was a two-time district champion and finished fourth in the state championship in the pole vault in 2013. She also competed in tennis and was a cheerleader.
Gregory is from Wilmington, N.C., and competed in the long jump and sprints at John T. Hoggard High School. She has a career-best of 17-4.75 in the long jump and earned All-Conference honors multiple times in that event. She placed eighth in the state championship and took fourth in the USATF state meet in the long jump in 2012. She was also a member of the school-record 4×100 relay team and has a career best of 12.29 in the 100-meter dash.
Mara is a seven-time state champion high jumper out of Bedford, N.H., and Bedford High School. She was also a member of three state champion 4×100 relay teams and helped lead her team to two state titles and two runner-up finishes. She placed third in the 2013 New England Championship and has a career best of 5-6 in the high jump. Mara also played soccer for four years.
These five newcomers join four previously announced recruits: sprinters Alyn Carr and Alexis Fernandez and distance runners Cozette Collin and Natalia Ocasio.
The Panthers are looking to improve upon last year’s Big South Championship finishes in which they placed third in cross country and sixth in both indoor and outdoor track & field.