BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s cross country team took home the Lehigh Invitational title for the third consecutive year on Friday night after a team score of 29 points which included first-place finisher Tyler Mueller (18:24.70). The Mountain Hawks finished 85 points ahead of the 10-team field and placed three runners in the top five.
“I was very pleased with Tyler’s performance,” said head coach Todd Etters. “I thought he really ran a smart race. He opened up a big gap and was able to hold onto it.”
“Today’s race was a good starting point,” said Mueller. “Our team is probably looking better than it ever has. It’s a good start that is encouraging and gets us pumped for Lafayette.”
Etters was not-at-all surprised by the performance of his junior co-captain. He was well aware of the dedication Mueller provides toward the sport and was pleased that his efforts earned him the win.
“I don’t think anyone was surprised that he could do that,” said Etters. “He puts the work in and has the right mindset and I hope that rubs off on the rest of the team. He’s a captain for us and a great leader by example.”
Along with Mueller, sophomore Ryan Mahalsky (18:35.00) and senior Lyle O’Brien (18:37.37) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Etters was pleased with the performance of not only Mueller but the rest of his team and was happy about the way his younger runners stepped up in the season opener.
“Ryan Mahalsky, a sophomore for us, ran a great race,” said Etters. “Today he solidified what I was hoping he could do. I think our junior and sophomore classes competed well and we had some nice surprises with our freshmen.”
“I saw a lot of nice things happening with some younger guys stepping up and they really ran well,” said Etters. “I really couldn’t be more pleased with how we performed.”
Also finishing within the top 15 were sophomore Casey Gilboy (18:53.16) who crossed the line in eighth, Russ Vignali (19:02.12) who took home 11th place, and Simon Voorhees (19:05.52) and Sean Burke (19:08.73) who finished 14th and 15th, respectively.
The next opponent for Lehigh will be rival Lafayette when the Mountain Hawks take on the Leopards in a dual meet. The Mountain Hawks have beaten Lafayette in 13 straight meets and hope to extend that streak on Sept. 14 at 5:30 p.m. on the Goodman Campus Course.
“I think we’re going to have to stack more guys up with their top runner so if we can get more of our top five runners around him I’ll be much happier,” said Etters. “Team wise, if we can replicate what we did today and get the win I’ll be happy.”