• Junior Vinny Todaro led HPU with a 34th-place finish in a collegiate-best 24:52.10
• Senior Paddy Grandinali placed 47th in 25:06.80, his best 8k time since 2013
• High Point returns to action next Saturday (Oct. 3) at the Big South preview meet
EARLYSVILLE, Va. – The High Point University men’s cross country team finished 10th out of 15 teams at the elite Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational on Saturday.
No. 7 Virginia won its home meet with a total of 41 points. Oklahoma finished second with 58 points while No. 18 Furman placed third (88). High Point (247 points) finished ahead of Mississippi State (303), Wake Forest (311), Morehead State (386), Radford (414) and Hofstra (448).
“I’m disappointed with this result. That’s not the group I’ve seen for the past six weeks, but we’re going to grow from this,” head coach Mike Esposito said. “Vinny [Todaro] and Paddy [Grandinali] were solid, but we splintered right away. That’s not how we train and that’s not how this group competes. But we can build off this – I have complete trust in this group and I believe in this group more than any group I’ve probably ever coached. They do all of the right things but today was not our best.”
Todaro led the Panthers with a 34th-place finish out of 123 participants in a collegiate-best time of 24:52.10. The Newville, Pa., native improved upon his last 8k time (2014 Big South Championship) by close to 90 seconds.
Grandinali made his 2015 debut Saturday and placed 47th in a time of 25:06.80. The time was his best in an 8k event since 2013.
Redshirt-senior Jeff LaCoste earned a 57th-place finish in 25:26.20, while junior Chernet Sisay placed 63rd in 25:32.90.
Sophomore Ryan Udvadia was 62nd in 25:41.20 and senior Cody Seymour placed 67th in 25:56.50. Freshman Alejandro Torres rounded out the HPU contingent in 72nd (26:04.20).
The Panthers return to action next weekend at the Big South preview event, the USC Upstate Invitational. The event kicks off at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday (Oct. 3) in Spartanburg, S.C.