ROCK HILL, S.C. — The High Point University men’s cross country team placed fifth out of 27 teams at the adidas/Winthrop Invitational on Saturday in Rock Hill, S.C. Junior Patrick Crawford led the Panthers with a 14th-place finish and sophomore Reece Ayers took 31st out of 220 runners.
“We had some good performances and some not so good today, and the important thing was getting down here and competing on the conference championship course,” said HPU head coach Mike Esposito. “Our freshmen ran very well, very composed. I thought Paddy Grandinali and Cody Seymour both moved well through the race. Patrick and Reece can both run better and they will a month from now.”
Crawford’s 14th-place finish came in a time of 25:18.12 followed by Ayers in 31st with a time of 25:53.43. Grandinali placed 43th in 26:01.13 and Seymour placed 40th in 26:11.54. Sophomore Chris Colo was High Point’s fifth finisher in 49th overall with a time of 26:23.32.
Junior John Yankello was High Point’s sixth finisher in 54th place with a time of 26:33.23 followed by freshmen Ben Robinson (56th, 26:38.23), Kevin Maguire (26:41.98) and Eddie Whitlock (27:05.87). Freshmen Zach Hostetler and Kevin Kreider placed 93rd and 102nd, respectively, and senior Dakota Peachee placed 116th.
Jacob Smith, Jeff LaCoste and Benji Szalai did not compete for HPU on Saturday.
Louisville won the team race with 44 points followed by Appalachian State (72) and Liberty (85). Western Carolina placed fourth with 125 points followed by High Point (160) and USC Upstate (182). Other Big South schools in the race were Campbell (seventh), Winthrop (ninth), Radford (10th), UNC Asheville (11th), Coastal Carolina (12th), Gardner-Webb (18th), Charleston Southern (20th) and Presbyterian (23rd).
The 8,000-meter course will be used for the Big South Championship on Oct. 27. Next up, the Panthers compete in the Charlotte Invitational at McAlpine Park in Charlotte, N.C. on Sept. 28. It’s the same course the NCAA Southeast Regional will be run on in November.