HPU men’s track posts program-best Big South finish
WINSTON-SALEM — The High Point University men’s track & field team finished a program-best second at the Big South Indoor Championship at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C. Head coach Mike Esposito was named Men’s Indoor Coach of the Year and four Panthers earned runner-up honors.
“We had a great day, this really showed how we’re getting better as a program,” said HPU head coach Mike Esposito. “Our guys came through, whether it was Benji and Patrick in the distance events, Tristan Faure getting us started in the heptathlon or Evan coming off an injury to get second in the dash.
“I can’t say enough about our freshman jumpers. Adam DeVito came through with a 23-foot long jump, Jordan Carr took fourth in the high jump and Austin Miller got third in the pole vault and set a school record. That group has the tools to be really good.”
The highest HPU had ever finished at a Big South Championship was third, twice indoors and three times outdoors. It was the first Coach of the Year award for Esposito in track & field.
The Panthers scored 98.5 points to place second behind Liberty, which won its 16th indoor title in a row with 163.5 points. Charleston Southern finished third with 82 points and Gardner-Webb came in fourth with 81 points. VMI placed fifth (69) followed by Radford (64), Campbell (63), UNC Asheville (24) and Winthrop (13).
Faure’s heptathlon was the first event to begin on Thursday and, when it concluded Friday afternoon he had wrapped up second place for the second year in a row. He scored 5,000 points, besting his previous HPU record of 4,956 from last year’s championship. Some of his highlights included wins in the 1,000-meter (2:42.71) and 60-meter hurdles (8.59) and runner-up finishes in the 60-meter dash (7.32) and high jump (1.91 meters/6-3.25).
The Panthers wrapped up their runner-up finish with 16 points in the 5,000. Junior Patrick Crawford led the way with a second-place finish in 14:37.38. Sophomore Jeff LaCoste had a strong finish to place fourth in 14:50.75 and freshman Paddy Grandinali took sixth to pick up three points. Grandinali edged out Campbell’s Chris Schulist for sixth with a time of 14:54.27.
Crawford also placed third in the mile and LaCoste took fifth in the mile and sixth in the 3,000-meter. Freshman Benji Szalai was runner-up in the 3,000-meter in a time of 8:23.91 on Thursday and came back to place sixth in the mile on Friday.
Junior Evan Emery earned All-Big South honors in the 60-meter dash with a second-place finish. He clocked in at 6.88 seconds to earn eight points coming off an injury.
Four freshman jumpers scored for High Point. On Thursday, Austin Miller cleared 4.70 meters (15-5) to place third in the pole vault and Adam DeVito took third in the long jump with a leap of 7.01 meters (23-0). On Friday, Jordan Carr took fourth in the high jump (1.99 meters/6-6.25) and DeVito cleared the same height, placing sixth. Will Narramore placed eighth in the triple jump.
Freshman Dennis Crawford and junior Ryan Venable combined to earn seven points in the 60-meter hurdles, finishing in fifth and sixth place, respectively. They both posted career-best times: Crawford ran 8.31 and Venable ran 8.32. Crawford also took seventh in the 400-meter.
Freshman Paul O’Donoghue placed fifth in the 800-meter in 1:58.97. He maintained his position in the middle of the pack throughout the race. High Point placed fifth in the distance medley relay and sixth in the 4x400 relay.
HPU WOMEN’S TRACK TAKES SIXTH
WINSTON-SALEM — The High Point University women’s track & field team finished sixth at the 2013 Big South Indoor Championship at the JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Friday. The Panthers had two third-place finishers, senior Kelsey Hunt and junior Colleen Hollowood.
Hunt placed third in the 5,000-meter with a school-record time of 17:25.94. She ran most of the race in the top five before Liberty’s Khristina Kanagy pulled away. Hollowood used a great finishing kick to pass runners from Coastal Carolina and Liberty at the wire. She finished in a career-best 2:16.28.
The Panthers totaled 41 points for the sixth-place finish. Coastal Carolina won the meet with 182 points, followed by Liberty (142), Charleston Southern (74), Gardner-Webb (57) and Campbell (50). High Point bested UNC Asheville (38), Radford (28), VMI (25) and Winthrop (25).
Hunt also ran a career-best 10:09.77 in the 3,000-meter to place fifth on Thursday. She was joined in the 5K by sophomore Lauren Blackwell, who placed fourth in 17:41.13.
Hollowood also ran on HPU’s sixth-place distance medley relay and seventh-place 4x400 relay. Freshman Katie Farina also ran on the DMR and placed seventh in the 800-meter in 2:18.82.
The pole vault trio of Alyssa Palenchar, Jill Marois and Ashton Kirby combined to score eight points for the Panthers. Palenchar cleared 3.33 meters (10-11) to place fifth and Marois cleared the same height, placing sixth. Kirby cleared 3.03 meters (9-11.25) to finish eighth.
Junior Kaitlin Whittington jumped 11.34 meters (37-2.5) in the triple jump to finish in seventh place.
HPU BASEBALL RALLIES FOR VICTORY
HIGH POINT — An early offensive outburst and an RBI double by freshman Brett Gemmell combined with stellar relief pitching from redshirt-junior Malcolm Clapsaddle helped the High Point University baseball team to a 6-5 win over LIU Brooklyn Friday night at Williard Stadium. Gemmell went 2-3 and drove in two runs in his first HPU start.
“We showed a lot of character in this game tonight,” HPU head coach Craig Cozart said. “We got on a roll early, but their guy settled in and then we had an unfortunate defensive inning that cost us some runs. We learned from last time though and came right back out and answered with two runs on a huge hit by Gemmell. That allowed us to put Clapsaddle out on the mound and he took control from there. He dug in and we put up four zeros to end the game. I am proud of the resiliency this team showed. This is going to be tough series with two more difficult games this weekend.”
Gemmell gave the Panthers the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out double to the Panther’s Den in right centerfield. After walks by graduate student Adam Barry and senior Ryan Retz, the freshman scorched an 0-1 pitch to the gap scoring both runners and giving High Point a lead it would not relinquish.
The win improves High Point to 3-2 on the year while LIU Brooklyn opens the 2013 season with an 0-1 mark.
The Panthers will look to clinch the series win today, when they return to Williard Stadium for the second game of three at 2 p.m. Redshirt-junior Sean Townsley will take the mound for High Point in his second start of the season.
NAVY SINKS HPU WOMEN’S LACROSSE
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The High Point University women’s lacrosse team took a 15-6 loss to Navy on Friday afternoon in Annapolis, Md. The Panthers’ offense was led by sophomore Kendyl Gardner, who scored three times, and junior Mackenzie Carroll, who had a goal and two assists.
“We’re really disappointed in this loss,” said HPU head coach Lyndsey Boswell. “I felt like we had a good chance and were prepared going into this game. But clearly we have a lot of work to do to get ready for Sunday and the rest of the season.”
Gardner and Carroll also collected three ground balls apiece. Freshman Lila Mastroberti had six draw controls and junior Sara Kuhlman had a goal and four draw controls. Senior goalie Anna Wallingford made 11 saves and had three ground balls.
Navy was led by Loren Generi’s five-goal effort.
HPU junior midfielder Alec Perry scored a free-position goal with 4:09 left, upping her scoring streak to three games. HPU fell to 1-2 overall while Navy improved to 3-0.
The Panthers will look to get back to .500 on Sunday when they take on American University at 11 a.m. in Washington, D.C. It’s the first meeting between the schools.