Men's XC takes first at Lehigh Invitational
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s cross country team started the 2010 season off on the right foot, placing first at the Lehigh Invitational on Friday night at the Goodman Campus Course. Lehigh placed five runners in the top 10, including junior Evan Flach, who coasted to a first-place finish with a time of 18:36.0.
"Flach looked really strong out there," head coach Todd Etters said. "He really took off at the 4K mark in the race. I’m expecting big things out of him this year."
Flach’s blistering pace helped him finish over eight seconds clear of Rider’s Christian Gonzalez in second. Lehigh freshmen Tyler Mueller and Jimmy Miller posted impressive finishes in their first collegiate race, placing third and fifth, respectively. Senior Steve Sample crossed the line behind Miller in sixth and sophomore Lyle O’Brien placed 10th. Senior Steve Abate posted a 13th-place finish, while senior Andrew Jervis took 14th.
"It was a great surprise to see guys finishing so high in their first collegiate race," Etters said of Mueller and Miller. "I was pleased to see how we handled ourselves out there."
The men’s team recorded a score of 25 for the meet, while Rider finished a distant second with a score of 72. Muhlenberg took third, Lafayette placed fourth, DeSales finished fifth, Widener took sixth and Moravian and Kutztown placed seventh and eighth, respectively.
Freshman Russell Vignali also ran an impressive race to finish in 20th with a time of 19:40.4. Junior Dan Soltan finished one spot behind Vignali, while seniors Kyle O’Connor and Mark Degenhart took 23rd and 25th, respectively. Lehigh also placed four other runners in the top-50, including freshman Ryan Knouse (44th), freshman Sean Price (46th), senior Niall Buckley (47th) and freshman Austin Orr (49th).
The Mountain Hawks will be back in action on September 18 at the Iona Meet of Champs in the Bronx, N.Y. The men’s race is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. from the historic Van Cortlandt Park Course.