HPU men’s track posts record finish at Big South

• HPU posted a program-record 148 points and earned its highest finish (2nd) in school history
• Sophomore James House won the 60m dash title (6.87 seconds)
• Junior Vinny Todaro claimed victory in the mile run (4:20.12)
• Senior Will Narramore set a new school record in the triple jump (15.35m, 50-4.5)

HIGH POINT, N.C. – Sophomore James House and junior Vinny Todaro won individual Big South titles to propel the High Point University men’s track & field team to a record-breaking performance Saturday on final day action at the Big South Indoor Championship.

High Point posted a program-record 148 points to finish second for the first time in school history. HPU’s highest finish over the past 16 seasons had been third (six occasions).

Liberty won the meet with 258 points. Campbell (87) finished third, followed by Gardner-Webb (53), Winthrop (43), Charleston Southern (35) and UNC Asheville (32).

“Our point total is something for our team to be extremely proud of,” head coach Mike Esposito said. “This is certainly the best team we’ve had in my time here. There were so many impressive performances and it gives us great momentum heading into the outdoor campaign.”

House claimed the 60m dash title in a photo finish, winning the race by .01 seconds. It marked the Cary, N.C., product’s second-career league title, as House also claimed the 100m dash crown at the 2015 Big South Outdoor Championship.

In addition to his victory in the 60m dash, House also earned all-conference honors in the 200-meter with a time of 21.98 seconds. House totaled 16 points for the Panthers in the meet.

Todaro won the mile to also pick up his second Big South crown (he also won the 2015 outdoor 1500m title). Vinny crossed the finish line in 4:20.12 to win the race and was followed by a pair of Panthers in an impressive 1-2-3 showing for the Purple & White.

Freshman Alejandro Torres placed second in 4:20.41 while senior Benji Szalai finished third (4:20.44).

On the jumps circuit, senior Will Narramore crushed his second school record in as many days for the Panthers. After setting the long jump mark during a victory Friday, Narramore converted an HPU record jump of 15.35m (50-4.50) to place second, just .03m behind champion Darrel Jones of Liberty. Both marks broke the previous Big South meet record of 15.31m originally set 17 years ago (1996).

The Panthers compiled 11 points in the 800-meter run behind senior Paul O’Donoghue’s second-straight top-2 finish at the event. O’Donoghue crossed the finish line in 1:53.18, while freshman Patrick Van Der Cruyssen placed sixth in a PR of 1:56.64.

Senior Dennis Crawford posted a top-4 finish in the 60m hurdles for the second-straight year, crossing the line in 8.72 seconds to finish fourth and grab five points for the Panthers.

Fellow senior Nick Hula registered his best-ever Big South finish in the 400m dash, placing fourth in a strong time of 49.79 seconds.

In the 5000m run, redshirt-senior Jeff LaCoste finished fourth to grab five points for HPU in a time of 15:07.05. Todaro placed fifth (15:08.61) after notching top-2 finishes in the 3000m run and mile run on the week (22 total points). Senior Cody Seymour was 10th in a time of 15:39.37.

In throws action, freshman Britton Mann posted his first career Big South points in the shot put, finishing seventh with a collegiate-best mark of 13.75m (45-1.50). Senior Jim Wilson placed 13th (12.55m, 41-2.25).

Junior Pat Irwin competed in just his second ever heptathlon Saturday and performed well, placing sixth with a personal-best 4181 points. Irwin won the high jump section (1.94m) and finished fourth in the 1000m run in a time of 2:54.57.

Capping the day in Blacksburg, HPU’s 4x400m contingent finished second with an excellent time of 3:18.97. The finish was just half a second behind the HPU school record. The Panther quartet included Hula, O’Donoghue, Miller and Narramore.

The Panthers now take a three week break before opening the 2016 outdoor season at the Wake Forest Open March 18-19 in Winston-Salem, N.C.