Posted: October 3, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh hosted the 35th annual Lehigh University Brooks Paul Short Run on Friday on the Goodman Campus and both Mountain Hawk genders put forth strong showings as the men finished 15th out of 45 teams and the women placed 17th out of 43 entries. Senior Jon Wetzel led Lehigh’s men with a time of 24:44, which put him in 51st place overall, while classmate Shannon Alejandro led the women and finished 49th overall with a time of 21:34.
Wisconsin won the team crown on the men’s side with 52 points, followed by Syracuse, Villanova, Iona and Cornell, while in the women’s race, West Virginia took first place with 47 points and Villanova, Baylor, Wisconsin and Syracuse rounded out the top-five.
In addition to Wetzel, other Lehigh runners in the Men’s Brown 8K race included Ben Lampi who finished in 64th place (24:52), Dan McClimon who placed 86th (25:02), Dan DeWitt (129 – 25:26), Carl Leunig (139 – 25:31), Kenny Burgess (169 – 25:49) and Matt Tedrick (182 – 25:58).
“I think it was a very good race for us,” Lehigh men’s cross country head coach Todd Etters said. “Coming out of this meet you can’t help but feel good.”
Liberty’s Sam Chelanga crossed the finish line first with a time of 23:05, while Andrew Ledwith from Iona was second with a time of 23:43. Chelanga broke the all-time mark for the fastest time on the 8K Goodman Campus Course, which was 23:39 set by Villanova’s Robert Curtis in 2007.
Other finishers in the Women’s Brown 6K race included freshman Katherine Pierce who placed 98th with a time of 22:09, Alexis Weiner who placed 105th and crossed in 22:16, Andrea Mascaro (155 – 22:50), Jen Filiberto (183 – 23:08), Kristin Kenney (215 – 23:24) and Dana Stellar (267 – 24:31).
Lehigh women’s cross country head coach Debbie Utesch said her team’s goal was a top 20 finish, which it accomplished with the 17th-place mark.
“We were pretty happy with the way we raced today,” Utesch said. “It was a good step forward for the whole team. We’re in a significantly better place than we were in Iona two weeks ago.”
Marie-Louise Asselin from West Virginia won the women’s race with a time of 19:38 followed by Shippensburg’s Neel Spence (19:57). Asselin’s time was the fastest ever on the Goodman Campus 6K Course, breaking the time of 19:50 set by Georgetown’s Melissa Grelli last year.
In the Men’s White 8K race, Ithaca was the top team with 97 points, followed by Messiah, Manhattan, Muhlenberg and Gettysburg. Greg Billington from Wake Forest crossed in a time of 25:21 to take first place. In the women’s White 6K race, Cortland won the team crown with 102 points, and was followed by Edinboro, San Diego, Manhattan and Messiah, while Ursinus’ Christa Johnson won the individual championship with a time of 21:38.
Pete Loy from Cornell won the Men’s JV 8K race with a time of 24:59, while Ellen Dougherty of Villanova won the Women’s JV 6K race crossing in 21:24.
At the high school level, Perk Valley took home the team title in the Boys’ Brown 5K, with a score of 154 points. Ben Furcht, of Lower Merion, earned the fastest time in the race by posting a 15:19 finish. Phil Wood, from Pennington high school, finished in 15:49 to win the Boys’ White 5K race. Tennent earned the White 5K team title with 134 point. Shourjo Chakravorty put up the top time in the Boys’ JV race to conclude the day with a 17:14 time.
On the girls’ high school side, Emmaus ran away with the title, putting up an impressive score of 77. Meghan Smith posted the lowest time for the girls with a 18:26 to win the race. Chevy Chase High School took the Girls White crown with an overall score of 116. The top finisher in the white race was Cecelia Forshee, who crossed the line in 18:45. In the final race of the day, Eileen Ser, from Northwest High School finished in 21:04 to win the Girls’ JV race.
Both Etters and Utesch expressed their gratitude for all those that helped Lehigh put on one of the biggest races in the nation. With more than 4,100 runners competing, it took a large number of people to make it all possible.
“Sometimes I just stand back and look in awe at what we can accomplish as a Paul Short committee,” Utesch said. It’s just amazing how many people work together to pull this all off.”
Etters, who has now seen the Paul Short Run as a runner, assistant coach and now head coach, echoed Utesch’s sentiments.
“I just want to thank everyone who worked behind the scenes,” Etters said. “Lehigh really puts on a world class event here, and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Lehigh returns to action on October 18 when the Mountain Hawks travel to New Jersey to compete in the Princeton Invitational. The first race is scheduled for 10:00 AM.