HPU’s Rickert earns second team All-America Track and Field honors at NCAAs

EUGENE, Ore. – High Point University thrower Christine Rickert capped an exceptional collegiate track & field career with an All-America performance Thursday at the NCAA Championship at Hayward Field.

Rickert placed 12th in the elite competition to garner second team All-America accolades. It’s the highest ever All-America recognition for a female HPU student-athlete (Div. I) and just the second ever women’s All-America accolade in the school’s Div. I history. Former women’s basketball standout Stacia Robertson was an All-America honorable mention pick in 2015.

Rickert opened her field series with a throw of 49.59m (162-8). The three-time Big South champion then posted her best mark of 50.16m (164-7) on her second attempt, before wrapping up with a throw of 49.43m (152-2).

Moving forward, Rickert is currently 19th in the United States javelin rankings and has an excellent chance to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials. The top-24 javelin athletes will compete in Eugene in July for the chance to represent the United States in the Olympics.

“Chrissy did an outstanding job today and handled the atmosphere in Eugene very well,” associate head coach Scott Hall said. “There are many years where what she threw would be top-8 and get her into the final, but the javelin has been extremely strong this season. She was very consistent today and did a great job in the conditions. She just missed where she needed to be with her block and release. Her three throws today were better than her PR last season, and that’s impressive and a sign of how far she’s come. She’s really close to making a big jump as a thrower and I think this performance will wet her appetite to continue her career as a post-collegiate athlete.”

In Wednesday’s action, senior Christian Spaulding competed on the men’s side and threw 62.92m (206-5) to finish 24th and earn USTFCCCA All-America honorable mention accolades. He is the third All-American in HPU men’s track & field history.

HPU was one of five schools in the country and the only non-“Power 5” conference program to send both a men’s and women’s javelin thrower to Eugene. The other four are track & field powers Oklahoma, Texas A&M, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.

“I can’t put into the words the impact Chrissy has had on our program,” head coach Mike Esposito said. “She is the type of competitor and person you build a program around. To end her career with the most prestigious honor ever bestowed on a women’s athlete at our school is outstanding. With Chrissy and Christian, they’ve set a standard for our program to send multiple athletes to Eugene. It’s possible, and I am confident it will continue to happen. They’ve raised the bar for our program and we are so thankful to both of them for all they’ve done for High Point University.”