HPU Cross Country Women Finish Program-Best 12th, Men Place 25th at NCAA Southeast Regionals

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

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The High Point University women’s cross country team finished a program-best 12th at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships Friday (Nov. 9) in Rock Hill, S.C.

The Panthers finished 12th with a total of 391 points. HPU was ranked 15th in the region going into the meet. It was the Purple & White’s best-ever finish in the meet, besting 2008’s 16th-place finish.

“Today our team proved that we can hold our own in a mix of some of the best teams in the country,” HPU head coach Remy Tamer said. “This race capped off a season that marks the beginning of an exciting future for the program. There were some important opportunities throughout he race that we didn’t quite tackle and it showed with our team score. However, I have no doubt that each returner will learn from today and we will only grow stronger as a program.

“Without great leaders like Zoe Geis and Keaton Case there would be no infrastructure for these great individual performances. So, from here we grow.

Sophomore Famke Heinst became the second HPU runner to earn USTFCCCA All-Southeast Region honors, placing 13th with a time of 20:19.5. Jemissa Hess finished eighth in 2004 to earn all-region honors as well.

“Famke raced with purpose and intention,” Tamer said. “She raced like a NCAA qualifier. However, the final 400 meters were tough for Famke, who ended up finishing about 15 seconds outside of a trip to NCAA championships. She’s not satisfied because she knows that she belongs at the top, but this is a major step forward for her and I am proud of her courage.”

Senior Keaton Case crossed the line second for the Panthers, placing 81st in 21:37.7.

“The lone graduating member, Keaton Case, ran her heart out for her teammates and I couldn’t ask for a better performance from our 800m record holder,” Tamer said. “She is a class act across the board and one the most important leaders this team has ever known. We are fortunate to have her lead these women.”

Junior Zoe Geis placed 84th in 21:39.6, while freshman Lindsey Ickes finished 97th in 21:48.4. Sophomore Julia Hellman rounded out the scoring five, placing 122nd in 22:03.6.

Outside the scoring five, sophomore Sydney Bagus was 150th, while fellow sophomore Franzi Jakobs placed 161st.

Panther Men Finish 25th at NCAA Southeast Regional

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The High Point University men’s cross country team placed 25th at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships Friday (Nov. 9) in Rock Hill, S.C.

“It wasn’t a great day, but I thought we rallied for the conference meet and settled back a little today,” HPU head coach Mike Esposito said. “Hocine (Bouchrak) engaged pretty well and moved up from last year and I thought Anthony (Sasso) and Siro (Pina Cardona) did well today. We have a lot of work to do, but we’re excited to move on to track season and see if we can keep on improving.”

The Panthers finished 25th with 731 points and were led by sophomore Hocine Bouchrak, who placed 41st in a 10K time of 31:05.2. It was a 22-place improvement for Bouchrak from last year’s regional.

Freshman Spencer Smucker crossed the line 158th overall in 33:25.8, while sophomore Siro Pina Cardona was 170th in 33:52.5.

Fellow sophomore Anthony Sasso was 179th in 34:06.9, while junior TJ Morales rounded out the scoring five in 34:30.1.