HPU’s Rickert Breaks Javelin Record At VertKlasse Friday

• Junior Christine Rickert broke her own HPU school record and set a new meet record with a javelin throw of 48.32m (158-06)
• Sophomore Natalia Ocasio finished second in the 3000m steeplechase (11:16.85)
• Sophomore Erika Bridges set a new PR in the participation high jump (1.60m, 5-3) en route to a second place finish

HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University junior Christine Rickert won the javelin title and broke her own school record in the process while leading the women’s track & field team in day one action at the VertKlasse Meeting Friday.

Rickert’s throw of 48.32m (158-06) secured her first javelin title of 2015 and marked the second time in as many meets this season that the Lancaster, Pa., native has broken her own HPU record. The mark of 48.32m is the second best javelin throw in the history of the Big South Conference.

In addition to Rickert’s performance, freshman Mackenzie Vermette earned a ninth-place finish in the javelin with a mark of 33.04m (108-5).

On the track, sophomore Natalia Ocasio led for much of the 3000m steeplechase and ultimately crossed the finish line with a strong second-place showing (11:16.85). Junior Katie Farina placed fifth in 11:36.66.

Senior Leah Anne Wirfel eclipsed her previous 1500m collegiate PR by more than 20 seconds while finishing third on Friday in a time of 4:41.57. Sophomore Cozette Collin was ninth in 4:48.44 while junior Julia Zautcke placed 37th in 5:06.22. Junior Sarah Bode placed 50th in 5:17.05.

On the jumps circuit, sophomore Erika Bridges finished second in the participation portion of the high jump with a PR of 1.60m (5-3). Junior Erica Hermann was ninth with a mark of 1.50m (4-11) and fellow junior Sara Katherine Kirkpatrick placed 10th (1.50m, 4-11).

Sophomore Madison Depner matched her outdoor PR while finishing sixth in the participation portion of the pole vault (3.35m, 10-11.75). Senior Ashton Kirby finished 16th with a mark of 2.85m (9-4.25) and fellow senior Victoria Peskosky was 17th (2.65m, 8-8.25).

In the 5000m run, senior Krista Willard finished 15th in 18:49.16, while junior Lindsey Siska (20:01.10) and senior Lauren Blackwell (20:08.26) finished 33rd and 34th, respectively.

The Panthers begin day two of VertKlasse competition at 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

About The VertKlasse Meeting
This weekend’s event marks the seventh annual HPU VertKlasse Meeting. The VertKlasse Meeting is a European-style meet that features a small amount of high-level competitors, creating a fast-moving, exciting competition. The name “VertKlasse” is based on the Weltklasse Zürich meet (pronounced VELT-class ZUR-ick, German for World Class Zurich), a famed international meet held annually in Switzerland. The name “Vert” was added in honor of two of HPU’s greatest benefactors and alumni, Dick and Peg Vert, for whom Vert Stadium is named. Dick Vert was a member of the HPU cross country and track teams in the 1960s.