HPU’s Ocasio named Big South Track Athlete of the Week

HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University women’s track & field sophomore Natalia Ocasio has been named the Big South Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week, the league office announced Tuesday.

It marks the first time in her career that Ocasio has garnered a weekly league honor.

The Mount Laurel, N.J., native cut an impressive 13 seconds off her previous 3000m steeplechase PR Thursday at the Duke Twilight, crossing the finish line in a spectacular time of 10:36.64.

The time marked the second time in two meets that she broke the HPU school record in the event. It’s a top-75 mark in the NCAA East Region this season (tops in the Big South) and earned her a third-place finish at Duke. The time also is the fifth fastest time ever run in the history of the conference.

Ocasio has cut an astounding 40 seconds off her 3000m steeplechase PR since April. After posting a time of 11:16.85 at the HPU VertKlasse Meeting on April 3, Ocasio set her first HPU record with a time of 10:49.76 at the Highlander Invite on April 24. Then, the sophomore shattered that time at Duke on May 7.

Ocasio and the Panthers open the 2015 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships Thursday inside Vert Stadium. Tickets are $5 per day.