PRINCETON, N.J.. – The Lehigh women’s cross country team finished 15th of 25 teams at the Princeton Invitational Saturday afternoon as the Mountain Hawks scored a total of 379 points. Junior Hannah Pierce was the top finisher for Lehigh, crossing the line in 22:54 for a 58th-place finish. Next up for Lehigh will be the Patriot League Championships, hosted by Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y.
"We continue to run extremely well as a pack, we’re just not establishing ourselves farther up in the field," said head coach Debbie Utesch.
Pierce battled through the field to become Lehigh’s leading runner on the day out of the 219 finishing runners. Sophomore Ingrid Simon and senior Tori Berard finished almost simultaneously at 23:07 for a 74th and 75th place finish, respectively, while junior Jessica Kendzor placed 84th after crossing the line in 23:16. Kendzor got off to a strong start, but had to battle back after the funneling of the runners through the first stretch of the race.
"Hannah did a nice job of working through the middle of the race," said Utesch. "Tori Berard did a nice job of working back into the mix after getting pinched off at the start because of the pretty quick narrowing."
Senior Amanda Gosselin (23:23), freshman Carlie Skellington (23:29) and freshman Elizabeth Weiler (23:31) rounded out the scoring runners for the Mountain Hawks, finishing 88th, 96th and 100th, respectively. The Mountain Hawks were hoping for a little better result at today’s race after the solid training leading up to the event. Lehigh will now get back to training in preparation for the Patriot League Championships that loom in the near future.
"We had a tremendous week of practice last week and looked great after coming back from Pacing Break, unfortunately it’s just not translating onto the course," said Utesch.
The 23rd-ranked Columbia Lions took home first place, finishing with three runners inside the top 20 and an overall team score of 83 points. Among the other competing teams in the race, ninth-ranked Cornell finished in third place with 132 points.
Lehigh will now be idle until October 27 when it travels to Hamilton, N.Y. to the campus of Colgate in which the Mountain Hawks will compete for their first Patriot League Championship since 1992.