HPU’s Sisay claims victory at Greensboro XC Invite

• Senior Chernet Sisay won the 8K race
• Fellow senior Vinny Todaro placed fourth
• HPU returns to action next Saturday at the Asheville Cross Country Challenge

GREENSBORO, N.C. – High Point University men’s cross country senior Chernet Sisay won the first race of his collegiate career to lead the Panthers at the Greensboro XC Invitational Saturday at Hagan Stone Park.

Sisay paced the race through much of the event and claimed victory down the stretch, maintaining a 16 second lead over the next closest collegiate competitor. He ran alongside former HPU all-conference performer, graduate student Paddy Grandinali, who competed unattached and finished as the top unattached runner.

Senior Vinny Todaro also earned a top-5 showing, placing fourth in the 8K race.

The Panthers finished third overall in the meet (70), with Concord (42) and the University of Charleston (43) leading the way. UNC XC Club (120) and Emory & Henry (134) rounded out the top-5.

Sophomore Bryan Gonzalez finished 16th overall and served as the Panthers’ No. 3 runner (28:58.00), while freshman Sean McGinnis placed 22nd (29:25.90).

Sophomore mid-distance runner Patrick Van Der Cruyssen made a cameo in cross country and finished as HPU’s No. 5 runner in 29:54.10. It marked the Flying Dutchman’s first ever 8K race.

Rounding out the HPU contingent, freshman TJ Morales finished 37th in 30:15.80.

“The intent of this race was to start it as a workout and close well, but I don’t think we executed either of those goals today,” head coach Mike Esposito said. “Our freshmen need to step up moving forward as we continue to train over the next five weeks. We need to show some major improvement to be where we want to be heading into the conference championship Oct. 28.”

HPU gets a preview of that Big South Championship course next Saturday, when the Panthers head west to race in the Asheville Cross Country Challenge (time TBD).