HPU Track & Field/Cross Country Announce Incoming Class

HPU Welcomes 11 Women to Track and Field/Cross Country Program (Mens Press Release Follows)

HIGH POINT — High Point University director of track & field and cross country Mike Esposito has announced 11 student-athletes are set to join the HPU women’s track and field/cross country program this fall.

The group of 11 includes Sydney Bagus, Caroline Baudinet, Danielle Cass, Carmela Culhane, Courtney Darakjy, Nathalie Elliott, Famka Heinst, Julia Hellman, Franziska Jakobs, Jessica Keys and JJ Osbourne.

“We are truly excited to bring a group of young ladies who have not only won as individuals, but also at the team level,” Esposito said. “This class will greatly improve our cross country program while enhancing our middle distance, distance, steeplechase and pole vault units. We feel that many of these girls can step in and compete forBig South titles right away. In addition, they bring exceptional academic records to the University.”

Sydney Bagus
Distance/Cross Country
Greenville, R.I. • Smithfield High School
• USATF All-American in her senior year
• All-Rhode Island in senior year for cross country
• Three-time All-Class and All-Division
• Helped Smithfield win Rhode Island Interscholastic League Outdoor State title in 2015 and 2016
• Member of National and French National Honor Societies
PRs: 5K Cross Country: 18:55 • 3,000m: 10:53 • 1,500m: 4:55 • 800m: 2:20

Caroline Baudinet
Middle Distance/Cross Country
Esneux, Belgium • College Saint Joseph Chenee
• Belgian national indoor runner-up in 1,500 meters in 2017
• 4th in 800 meters at Belgian Outdoor Championships in 2017
PRs: 800m: 2:10.05 • 1,500m: 4:28.53 • 1,000m: 2:55.96 • 400m: 1:00.34

Danielle Cass
Pole Vault
Weston, Conn. • Weston High School
• New Balance Indoor and Outdoor Nationals qualifier her senior year
• All-New England outdoor selection her junior and senior years
• All-Connecticut honoree for indoor and outdoor seasons her junior and senior years
PR: Pole Vault: 11-9

Carmela Culhane
Middle Distance/Cross Country
Goldens Bridge, N.Y. • John Jay High School
• New York state runner-up in 4x800m
• Earned All-League and All-County honors in 4x400m relay and 4x800m relay
• League champion in 300m (indoor) and 800m (outdoor) as a freshman
• Helped lead John Jay to second in the state cross country championships
PRs: 5K Cross Country: 20.02 • 400m: 59.8 • 800m: 2:16.18

Courtney Darakjy
Middle Distance/Cross Country
Randolph, N.J • Randolph High School
• New Jersey team state, county and conference champion
• High school All-American in 4×1-Mile relay
• Helped lead Randolph to four state titles (3x outdoor, 1x indoor)
• Three-time Penn Relays qualifier
PRs: 400m: 59.8 • 800m: 2:19.1 • 1,000m: 3:11 • 1,600m: 5:19

Nathalie Elliott
Pole Vault
Spring Grove, Pa. • Spring Grove Area High School
• Two-time York/Adams County All-Star
• Aided Spring Grove’s county championship in 2017
• Member of National and National Art Honors Societies
PR: Pole Vault: 12-6

Famke Heinst
Middle Distance/Cross Country
Gelderland, Netherlands • Liemerscollege
• Represented the Netherlands at European Youth Olympic Festival in Tbilisi, Georgia
• 2016 Dutch junior indoor champion in 800 meters
• Silver medalist in 800 meters at 2015 Dutch junior outdoor championships
• Placed third in 800 meters at 2016 Dutch junior outdoors
PRs: 400m: 58.75 • 800m: 2:12.96 • 1,500m: 4:35.15

Julia Hellman
Distance/Cross Country
Glen Mills, Pa. • Garnet Valley High School
• 2017 Delaware County champion in 3,200 meters
• State qualifier in 2017 4x800m relay and 2015 DMR
• Four-time PIAA District 1 qualifier in 4x800m relay
• Member of National and National Art Honor Society
PRs: 3,200m: 11:30 • 800m: 2:22 • 1,600m: 5:24 • 5K Cross Country: 19:40

Franzi Jakobs
Middle Distance/Cross Country
Duesseldorf, Germany • Humboldt Gymnasium Duesseldorf
• German national runner-up in 4x400m relay in 2015
• Seven-time Federal State Champion in 800 or 1,500 meters
• 800m sixth place at German indoor national championships in 2016 and 2017
• Finished sixth in 1,500m steeplechase at German nationals in 2015
PRs: 800m: 2:10.60 • 1,500m: 4:37.59 • 2,000m Steeplechase: 7:06.06

Jessica Keys
Pole Vault
Herndon, Va. • Langley High School
• Virginia state champion in pole vault
• Five-time first-team All-Virginia state in pole vault
• Member of women’s sprint medley relay that finished 19th in elite division at New Balance Nationals
• Member of National Honor Society and an AP Scholar with Distinction
PR: Pole Vault: 11-0

JJ Osborn
Middle Distance/Cross Country
Beaverton, Ore. • Southridge High School • Xavier
• Transfer from Xavier, but did not compete, so will have four years of eligibility remaining
• Finished fourth at Oregon state meet in the 800 meters as a sophomore
• Metro League All-Academic selection
PR: 800m: 2:13.07

Seven Men to Join HPU Track and Field/Cross Country

HIGH POINT — High Point University director of track & field and cross country Mike Esposito has announced that seven student-athletes will join the HPU men’s track and field/cross country program this fall.

The group of seven includes Hocine Bouchrak, Stephen Gray, Austin Harrison, Tim McEvoy, Siro Pina Cardona, Anthony Sasso and Gabriel Stainback.

“We went into this recruiting class targeting a talented multis athlete, a strong thrower, additional pole vault help and some high quality distance athletes,” Esposito said. “I am pleased to say that we met our goals. Coach (Scott) Hall is one of the best multi coaches in the US and Gabriel will join rising sophomore Pablo Romero Gonlazez to form a great duo. Austin is a beast in the weight room and when his technique develops he has a chance to be an elite thrower. Siro has competed on the world stage and along with Anthony provides us depth in the middle distance events. Hocine should join the list of excellent HPU steeplechasers. All of the distance recruits along with Stephen will contribute to an improved cross country team as well.”

Hocine Bouchrak
Middle Distance/Cross Country
Alicante, Spain • IES Canonigo Manchon
• 2017 Spanish junior national champion in 3,000m steeplechase
PRs: 3,000mSC: 9:05 • 1,500m: 3:53 • 800m: 1:54 • 3,000m: 8:28 • 10,000m: 31:51

Stephen Gray
Middle Distance/Cross Country
East Greenville, Pa. • Southern Lehigh High School
• Colonial League First Team member his senior year
• Colonial League 4x800m champion
• Three-time Pennsylvania state qualifier (2x cross country, 1x indoor TF)
• Led Southern Lehigh to states his senior year
PRs: 800m: 2:01 • 1,600m: 4:27 • 3,200m: 9:43 • 5K Cross Country: 16:16

Austin Harrison
Clemmons, N.C. • West Forsyth High School
• 2017 North Carolina state champion in shot put (both indoor and outdoor) and discus
• Five-time Central Piedmont Conference champion (3x shot put, 2x discus)
• Two-time 4A regional champion in shot put and discus
• Led West Forsyth to 4A state title in 2017
PRs: Shot Put: 58-7 • Discus: 179-1

Tim McEvoy
Pole Vault
Manassas, Va. • Osbourn Park High School
• Virginia state champion in pole vault
• Four-time regional champion and two-time conference champion
• Five-time all-state, six-time all-region and eight-time all-conference honoree
PR: Pole Vault: 15-0

Siro Pina Cardona
Middle Distance/Cross Country
Alacant, Spain • IES Consellerias • University of Valencia
• Represented Spain at 2015 World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia
• 2015 Spanish Under-18 800 meters champion
• Third-place in Spanish Under-16 1,500 meters
PR: 800m: 1:52

Anthony Sasso
Middle Distance/Cross Country
Lewis Center, Ohio • Olentangy High School
• 2017 Ohio state indoor runner-up in 800 meters
• All-Ohio selection in his senior year
• 800m conference champion in sophomore and junior
PRs: 800m: 1:53.65 • 1,600m: 4:22.07 • 400m: 49.6 • 5K Cross Country: 15:55

Gabriel Stainback
Concord, N.C. • Concord High School
• 2017 North Carolina state champion in high jump
• Two-time South Piedmont Field Athlete of the Year
PRs: LJ: 22-8.5 • HJ: 6-8 • 55mH: 7.70 • 110mH: 14.94 • 300m: 36.74 • DT: 148-0