Track and Field: HPU Women Third, Men Fourth at Big South Indoor Champs

*** Both men’s and women’s recaps included ***

HPU Women Win Three Events, Place Third at Big South Indoors

LYNCHBURG, Va. — The High Point University women’s track and field team placed third at the Big South Indoor Championships Saturday (Feb. 24) at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex in Lynchburg, Va.

The Panthers made a hard charge at the end, but missed second place by a point. Liberty won the meet with 224 points, followed by Campbell (99.5), High Point (98.5), Radford (82), Charleston Southern (74.5), Gardner-Webb (38), Winthrop (29.5) and UNC Asheville (17).

“We won three events today and had some outstanding performances, but we left some points on the table,” HPU head coach Mike Esposito said. “I’m looking forward to outdoors because we pick up the discus, the javelin, the 10K and the steeple, plus we get the opportunity to compete at home.”

In the awards ceremony following the meet, Case was named the Big South Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was selected to the All-Academic Team.

Freshman Famke Heinst won two individual events on Saturday, first taking the mile in 5:01.65, and later claiming the 3,000 meters in 9:45.85. She is the first Panther to win two individual titles in the same Big South Indoor meet since Jemissa Hess won the 800 meters and the mile in 2005.

“Famke’s a really special athlete that has a big upside,” Esposito said. “She had controlled wins in both races, where we asked her to do the team thing and chase wins, not times, and she did exactly what we asked.”

Fellow freshman Nathalie Elliott broke the school record and captured the pole vault title, clearing a height of 3.95m (12-11.5). Freshman Jessica Keys placed seventh with a personal-best height of 3.50m (11-5.75), while sophomore Rachel Berndsen cleared the bar at 3.35m (10-11.75) to place eighth.

“Nathalie is so consistent and is going to knock that four-meter mark out of the park real soon,” Esposito said. “I love what Coach (Scott) Houston is doing and we want to be a vault power. With all the resources we have and the national champ (Houston) coaching, we can do that.”

In the mile, freshman Caroline Baudinet was the runner-up behind Heinst in 5:02.43, while in the 3,000 meters, sophomore Zoe Geis also earned all-conference honors in third in a time of 10:06.80.

Sophomore Ariel Wilbekin finished fourth in the triple jump with a mark of 11.18m (36-8.25).

In the 800 meters, Case placed fourth in 2:13.12, while Baudinet was right behind in fifth in 2:13.51.

High Point Men Finish Fourth at Big South Indoors

LYNCHBURG, Va.—The High Point University men’s track and field team finished fourth at the Big South Indoor Championships Saturday (Feb. 24) at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex in Lynchburg, Va.

The Panthers finished fourth with 79 points, behind Liberty (224), Campbell (116.5) and Charleston Southern (92), but ahead of Winthrop (49.5), Gardner-Webb (49) and UNC Asheville (47).

“Overall, it was a solid weekend,” HPU head coach Mike Esposito said. “We have a bunch of holes to fill, and I thought we had a chance at third, but where we are strong, Campbell and others are really strong. I was pleased with Hocine (Bouchrak) and Alejandro (Juan Torres) and our heptathletes did well.”

In a post-meet awards ceremony, freshman Hocine Bouchrak was named the Big South Freshman of the Year, while senior Alejandro Juan Torres was selected to the All-Academic Team.

Sophomore Pablo Romero successfully defended his heptathlon title and broke the school record with 5,178 points. Freshman Gabriel Stainback placed fifth with 4,723 points, while junior Brad Kanney (3,828) and sophomore John Singleton III (3,479) finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

“Pablo is getting better and stronger every meet,” Esposito said. “We asked a lot of him this weekend and had him run the hurdles, compete in the high jump and be on the 4×4 relay, but he still won his (main) event. He’s a great kid and so coachable and when we get him in the weight room, he’s going to be different kid.”

Torres earned all-conference honors in the mile, finishing third in 4:07.19, while Bouchrak was fourth in 4:07.75. The duo also scored in the 3,000 meters, with Bouchrak taking fourth again in 8:31.63 and Juan Torres crossing the line fifth in 8:35.24.

In the 800 meters, freshman Siro Pina Cardona placed fifth in 1:53.23, while fellow freshman Anthony Sasso finished eighth in 1:55.95.

Senior James House placed sixth in the 60 meters in 7.07. Romero placed sixth in the individual 60m hurdles in 8.64.

In the high jump, Singleton III placed eighth with a height of 1.84m (6-0.5). Junior Britton Mann was eighth in the weight throw with a heave of 14.19m (46-6.75)

In the final event, the 4x400m relay of Romero, Stainback, Pina Cardona and freshman Levi Williams placed sixth in 3:28.12.