HPU Women’s cross country places fifth at VertCross Invite

• The Panthers placed fifth out of 20 teams at the home event
• Senior Cozette Collin finished 20th out of 207 runners in 22:11.28
• Fellow senior Natalia Ocasio was 24th in 22:14.95

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. – The High Point University women’s cross country team performed well against a strong field at Friday’s VertCross Invitational, placing fifth out of 20 teams at the Ivey Redmon Sports Complex.

The Panthers notched 147 points at their home meet, behind Duke (69), Appalachian State (72), Richmond (109) and the College of Charleston (117). HPU bested George Mason (176), Big South foe Campbell (187), Marshall (205), East Tennessee State (217) and a number of other programs.

“It was treat for us to compete so close to home today,” head coach Remy Tamer said. “In the face of good competition, I thought we performed well. We packed up and ran together, especially in the middle of the race. We need to learn to work the middle sections of the race and focus on the second mile moving forward. I believe we’re in a position in the next couple weeks to come back down off our peak with volume, keep the intensity high and show something big at Big South.”

Senior Cozette Collin finished as HPU’s No. 1 runner for the third-straight meet, placing 20th out of 207 runners in a time of 22:11.28 to lead the charge for the Purple & White.

Fellow senior Natalia Ocasio continued her mid-season charge for High Point, placing 24th in the event in a strong 6K time of 22:14.95.

Sophomore Keaton Case and freshman Zoe Geis ran together throughout the event and the pacing paid off, as Case (22:44.72) and Geis (22:57.11) finished 37th and 44th, respectively, in their first ever collegiate 6k races.

Freshman Kylie Hennessey kept herself firmly planted in HPU’s top-5 from week-to-week, as the Waxhaw, N.C., product stayed with Case and Geis for much of the race and completed her meet in 23:23.52 to finish 61st.

After Hennessey, sophomore Courtney Kerr placed 97th in 24:07.32, while freshman Emily Boger was 127th in 24:35.02. Freshman Charis Dinger wrapped up the Panther contingent in 163rd (25:31.89).

The Purple & White will now train for a two-week period before looking to claim their third-consecutive Big South Championship Oct. 28 in Asheville, N.C.