HPU Adds Two Men’s Distance Runners for 2013-14

HIGH POINT, N.C. — The High Point University men’s cross country and track & field teams have added two recruits for the 2013-14 season. Distance runners Chernet Sisay and Vinny Todaro will join the Panthers this fall.

“These are two high-character kids who know how to win races,” said HPU head coach Mike Esposito. “They are both strong cross country runners who will give us considerable depth and fit in very well with our team.”

Todaro is from Newville, Pa., and attended Big Spring High School where he was Pennsylvania state champion in cross country in 2012. He emerged as one of the top runners in the state when he won the Carlisle Invitational during the 2012 cross country season. He went on to win the Mid-Penn Championship and PIAA District 3 Championship before winning the state title. He went undefeated in the fall.

In track & field, Todaro has career bests of 4:16.73 in the 1,600-meter, 4:23.74 in the mile and 1:56.96 in the 800-meter. In cross country, Todaro ran a career-best 15:31.11 for 5,000 meters. He was recognized as first-team All-State in 2012 and to the Sentinel and Patriot All-Star teams in 2011 and 2012. He was named Sentinel and Patriot All-Star in track & field in 2012.

Sisay is originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and attended Brookline High School in Massachusetts. He helped lead Brookline to back-to-back state championships in 2010 and 2011 as well as several other meet victories. In his senior year of 2011-12, Brookline won the Eastern Mass. Div. I title, Bay State Conference title and the Amherst Invitational in cross country. Sisay was Bay State Conference individual champion and finished 12th at the all-state state championship. He ran a career-best 15:23.0 for 5,000 meters in the 2011 Brown Cross Country Invitational.

Sisay was a two-time Boston Globe All-Scholastic and three-time Boston Herald All-Scholastic. Sisay was 2011 Bay State Conference Runner of the Year and a 10-time conference All-Star in cross country and track & field. He’s in a postgraduate year at Cushing Academy, where he won several invitationals as well as the New England Prep School Championship during the cross country season last fall.

Esposito and his staff expect to add several more recruits for the 2013-14 season.

The Panthers are coming off runner-up finishes in both the 2012 Big South Cross Country Championship and the 2013 Big South Indoor Track & Field Championship. The runner-up finish during the indoor season was HPU’s best finish ever in track & field. High Point opens the outdoor season this Friday and Saturday at the Wake Forest Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C.