BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s and women’s track teams wrapped up a strong first meet of the season on Saturday at the Lehigh Valley Season Opener. The Mountain Hawks used a number of stellar performances, including an IC4A qualifying score from junior Stephen Tutunjian, to rack up numerous first-place finishes.
“I’m really pleased with where we are,” said head coach Matt Utesch. “We wanted to see how the kids would compete in the change of techniques we’ve been working on. I think they responded very well.”
The meet included local schools East Stroudsburg, Millersville, Moravian, Muhlenberg, Penn State-Berks, Shippensburg and SUNY Cobleskill. Leading the way was Tutunjian, who won the triple jump with a jump of 14.77 meters, to qualifier for IC4A’s while his long jump of 6.93m was tops as well.
Freshman Ryan Paquin was stellar in his first collegiate action, winning the heptathlon by garnering 4,533 points. Senior Kyle Forrest was right behind him, racking up 4,485 points.
Other notable finishers were senior Makura Compton, who was Lehigh’s top finisher in the 60 meter dash (7.26) and senior Kyle O’Connor, who enjoyed a solid start in the 1,000 meter run and held on to win it with a time of 2:33.99. Freshman Seth Robinson impressed as Lehigh’s top finisher in the 60 meter hurdles as well.
On the women’s side, freshman Brooke Astor won the pentathlon with 3,022 points, which included wins in the 800 meter run, 60 meter hurdles, high jump and long jump.
“For a freshman to win the pentathlon [in her first collegiate event] is outstanding,” said Utesch.
Sophomore Danielle Albergo had a spectacular race in the 400 meter dash (59.80) while also running a great leg on the 4X400 meter relay. Tiffany Penge enjoyed a strong meet as well, finishing second in both the triple (10.72m) and long (5.25m) jump. Sophomore Kristin Slotnick stood out by winning the 200 meter dash behind a time of 26.74.
Other notable performances came from sophomore E’Lana Lemon, who won the weight throw with a throw of 15.52 meters, while junior Alexandra Neville won the 1,000 meters with a time of 3:08.71.
The Mountain Hawks return to action next Friday when they host one final meet before the holidays. The meet is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and will feature Bloomsburg, DeSales, East Stroudsburg, Millersville and Moravian.