HPU Women’s Cross Country, Heinst Claim Big South Championships

• The Panthers won their third Big South title in four years.
• Freshman Famke Heinst won the individual title, the second HPU runner to accomplish the feat and first Big South freshman to win since 2006.
• All five scoring runners earned All-Big South honors and had nine runners finish in the top 19.

LYNCHBURG, Va.—The High Point University women’s cross country team won the Big South Championship, led by freshman Famke Heinst, who won the individual title, Saturday morning (Oct. 28) at the Liberty Cross Country Course in Lynchburg, Va.

High Point picked up its third conference title in four years with 29 points, the lowest amount of points scored at the conference meet since Liberty (29) in 2006. Campbell was second with 75 points. High Point’s margin of victory of 46 points is the most in a Big South Championship since Coastal Carolina won by 47 in 1996. Liberty was third with 80 points, followed by UNC Asheville (109), Radford (137), Winthrop (155), Charleston Southern (159), Gardner-Webb (207), Presbyterian (236) and Longwood (297).

“A year ago today, we lost a hard-fought battle to Liberty, which was tough,” HPU head coach Remy Tamer said. “What we did from that point on was control the controllables, work hard and do right verses do wrong in an every day fashion, having the long-term goal of winning the Big South title in mind. It took some newcomers to mix it up and we had a high-energy group today. It feels good to see what we have dedicated ourselves to for the last 12 months has paid off.”

The Panthers had all five scoring runners earn All-Big South honors, with Heinst running away with the individual crown in a 5K time of 17:55.1, over 26 seconds over second-place Michaela Louw of Campbell. Heinst is the second Panther to win the women’s cross country conference meet and she is the first freshman to win the meet since Coastal Carolina’s Julia Viellehner in 2006.

“We knew what we needed to do and knew it was possible to win and all the girls did great,” Heinst said. “It was awesome. I had one job and that was to win this race, no matter who (I was facing), and just had to keep going.”

Fellow freshman Julia Hellman placed third in 18:28.7, while sophomore Zoe Geis was fifth in 18:40.5. Freshman Caroline Baudinet placed fourth for HPU and eighth overall in 18:51.7, while sophomore Keaton Case rounded out the scoring five in 12th overall in 19:13.7.

The good results did not stop there for HPU, as freshman Sydney Bagus placed 14th, sophomore Kylie Hennessey and freshman Franzi Jakobs finished 16th and 17th, respectively, and junior Courtney Kerr placed 19th.

After the meet, Tamer was named the Big South Coach of the Year, while Heinst was named the Big South Runner of the Year and the Freshman of the Year. Geis was named to the Big South All-Academic squad.

High Point will ride this wave of momentum into the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships on Nov. 10 in Earylsville, Va.