HPU Women’s Cross Country Wins Big South Preview

HPU Women’s Cross Country Wins Big South Preview (Men’s Recap follows)
LYNCHBURG, Va. — The High Point University women’s cross country team captured the Big South Preview title Saturday (Sept. 16) in Lynchburg, Va., after having five finishers in the top six.

With five runners in the top six, HPU finished with 19 points, ahead of Liberty (43), UNC Asheville (84), Radford (91) and Longwood (147). It is the first Panthers team victory since the Asheville Cross Country Challenge on Oct. 1, 2016.

“Our women arrived in Lynchburg last night prepared to take care of business by any means necessary,” HPU head coach Remy Tamer said. “We came here to experience the new Liberty course and to race the Flames heads up. The ladies undoubtedly have the talent, and while we still have crucial race skills that must be refined before we can challenge the big dogs, this group is hungry. Overall, it was a solid day and a positive step for the program.”

Freshman Famke Heinst picked up her first collegiate win, finishing in a 5K time of 18:41.2, over five seconds faster than second place Noel Palmer from Liberty. Heinst was HPU’s first individual race champion since Kelly Hayes at the Upstate Invitational on Oct. 3, 2015.

Freshman Julia Hellman placed third in 18:49.2, while fellow freshman Franzi Jakobs was fourth in 19:26.6. Sophomore Zoe Geis (19:27.9) and freshman Caroline Baudinet (19:34.8) placed fifth and sixth, respectively, to round out the scoring five for the Panthers.

Next up, the Panthers compete at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational Sept. 23 in Lynchburg, Va.

HPU Men Place Fourth at Big South Preview
LYNCHBURG, Va. — The High Point University men’s cross country team placed fourth at the Big South Preview Saturday (Sept. 16) in Lynchburg, Va.

Junior Alejandro Juan Torres finished as the runner up in an 8K time of 26:46.3 to lead the Panthers, who finished with 83 points, behind Liberty (19), UNC Asheville (71) and Radford (72), but ahead of Longwood (149).

Sophomore TJ Morales was the second HPU finisher in 19th overall in 28.29.1. A pair of freshmen, Anthony Sasso and Stephen Gray, placed 23rd (28:48.0) and 30th (29:28.1), respectively. Junior Patrick Van Der Cruyssen placed 35th in 31:16.5 to round out the scoring five.

“Alejandro had a solid run, he is in a really good place right now,” HPU head coach Mike Esposito said. “TJ stuck his nose in there early, now he just needs the confidence to finish. We had two freshmen who had their expected ups and downs on their first 8K on a very difficult course. I think they will be fine down the road. Now, we have a big two-week training block ahead of us.”

Next up, the Panthers will travel to Spartanburg, S.C., for the Upstate Invitational on Sept. 30.