• Senior Vinny Todaro placed sixth to claim his second-straight Big South all-conference honor (25:43.07)
• Freshman Sean McGinnis finished 15th (26:33.19)
• The Panthers finished fourth at the annual league meet
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Senior Vinny Todaro finished sixth and earned all-conference accolades while leading the High Point University men’s cross country team at the Big South Championship Friday afternoon at the Asheville Christian Academy.
Todaro crossed the finish line in 25:43.07 to garner the second all-conference accolade of his career in cross country. The performance was a culmination of a four-year progression for the Newville, Pa., native. After finishing 51st as a freshman in 2013, Todaro improved his Big South cross country showing each season, placing 21st as a sophomore in 2014, seventh as a junior and now sixth as a senior.
His performance helped the Panthers finish fourth at the meet (103), behind Campbell (31), Liberty (37) and Radford (87).
Freshman Sean McGinnis ran with poise in Asheville, serving as HPU’s No. 2 runner while placing 15th in 26:33.49. Sophomore Alejandro Juan Torres was 22nd in 26:59.32.
Sophomore Patrick Van Der Cruyssen was likely the day’s best story, as the mid-distance track & field athlete for HPU stepped into the cross country ranks and finished as High Point’s No. 4 runner. The Flying Dutchman placed 26th while crossing the finish line in 27:14.00.
Senior Chernet Sisay battled through a leg injury to finish 34th in 27:32.69 while sophomore Drew Roeber was 44th in 27:53.79.
Sophomore Bryan Gonzalez (28:14.19) and freshman TJ Morales (28:29.97) were 47th and 50th, respectively, while freshman Will Elliott placed 54th in 28:43.66.
Rounding out the HPU contingent, sophomore Spencer Ader finished 66th in 29:40.25.
“We were in good position early on in the race but began to falter as it went on,” head coach Mike Esposito said. “Overall, watching Vinny improve each year has been great to see. He and Chernet have been leaders of our program and as seniors we thank them for all they’ve done to impact the program in their careers.”
The Panthers now approach the conclusion of the cross country season with a trip to Cary, N.C., for the NC State Three Stripe Invite November 5.