Posted: September 20, 2008
VAN CORTLAND PARK, N.Y. – The Lehigh men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to the historic Iona Meet of Champions and walked away with some impressive results on Saturday. The men finished fifth out of 29 teams and the women finished ninth of 21 teams.
Sophomore Dan McClimon was the top finisher for the Mountain Hawks on the men’s side, with a time of 25:15, good for 19th place overall. It is the second out of three races McClimon has been the top finisher for Lehigh.
Senior Shannon Alejandro led the charge for the Lehigh women, putting up a 14th-place time of 22:36. Alejandro has finished ahead of all Mountain Hawks runners in each of the first three meets of the season, and head coach Debbie Utesch said she is coming into her own on the course. For their efforts, McClimon and Alejandro were named to the All-Meet of Champions Team.
“That’s a real good showing for her,” Utesch said. “She put herself in the top 20 right off the bat. It just proves that she’s going to be one of the top regional girls this year.”
The men’s team scored 205 points, finishing just eight points behind Patriot League rival Navy. The strong showing gave men’s head coach Todd Etters confidence in his team’s ability to compete as the season goes on.
“I was very pleased to see where we finished today,” Etters said. “This was the first big test for them, and they passed it with flying colors.”
The Lehigh women finished with 270 points on the day. Along with Alejandro, other notable Lehigh finishers included freshman Katherine Pierce (46th) and senior Jen Filiberto (83rd).
For Etters and the men, who are now ranked 13th in the Mid-Atlantic region, the confidence is only building.
“We showed today that we’re definitely one of the teams that can compete for the Patriot League title,” Etters said. “At the same time we know we still have work to do. We’re just getting our guys prepared to take the next step.”
Lehigh will return to the course on Friday, October 3 when the Mountain Hawks host the Paul Short Run on the Goodman Campus. The first race is set for 11:00 AM.