BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s track and field team took home first place at the 13-team Mountain Hawk Invite. The two-day event finished on Saturday as the Mountain Hawks found themselves on top with a total of 202 points. Lehigh had a lot of standout performances including four new IC4A qualifiers while senior Stephen Tutunjian broke a 30-year school record in the triple jump while Kyle Forrest and Ryan Paquin had personal records in the heptathlon.
“It ended up being a really good meet for us and we faced some good competition across the board,” said head coach Matt Utesch. “We really exploded in the jumps today, especially on the men’s side. I was really pleased overall though with how the meet went.”
Lehigh finished ahead of Kutztown (127), East Stroudsburg (82.5), Lafayette (55), Wagner (52), Bloomsburg (41), Moravian (34), Delaware TC (25), Muhlenberg (18), Widener (17), Monmouth (13), Stockton (9) and Millersville (4).
Tutunjian improved to 4-0 in the triple jump in impression fashion Saturday. His 15.35 meter jump crushed the school record of 15.08 meters which was set by Larry Mercabdante in 1982. Tutunjian also finished second in the long jump with a distance of 7.09 meters. Both distances were IC4A qualifying distances, but Tutunjian has already qualified in both events in meets earlier this season.
Lehigh had four new athletes to qualify for IC4As as senior Stephen Rumizen and freshman Adeolu Adesida finished 1-2 in the high jump with qualifying distances of 2.04m. The Mountain Hawks now have three qualifiers in the high jump as the duo joins sophomore Patrick Ciez who qualified in a meet earlier this season.
Forrest and Paquin also added their names to the list of IC4A qualifiers as the duo finished 1-2 in the heptathlon. Forrest finished with a total 4855, which surpassed his personal record of 4650 while Paquin finished just three back as his 4822 was a personal record, surpassing his previous high of 4646.
Lehigh also got several more first-place finishes. Sophomore Seth Robinson won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.42. Sophomore Martin Otieno won the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.79 while junior Devin Monroe finished .09 seconds behind him. Freshman Christopher Watson won the 500-meter dash with a time of 1:07.95 while sophomore John Ciavardelli finished closely behind him with a time of 1:08.21. Freshman Nicholas Ward won the 3,000-meter run with a time of 9:03.3. And freshman Ryan Mahalsky won the 5,000-meter run with a time of 15:46.35 as four Lehigh runners finished in the top four spots.
“I think the guys have to feel pretty good going into next weekend,” Utesch said. “We have some places we can still get better, but I’m really pleased with the marks they put up.”
Lehigh will next host Lafayette in a dual meet Saturday, January 28th at 3 p.m. at Rauch Fieldhouse.