BETHLEHEM, Pa. – In a meet rewarding team depth, the Lehigh men’s track and field team put forth a strong showing at the Angry Birds at Lehigh meet inside Rauch Fieldhouse on Saturday. Lehigh posted multiple top five finishes, including wins by freshman Tyler John, junior Martin Otieno and junior Sam Bernitt en route to the third place finish.
"Penn, Monmouth and Winthrop are really solid teams and we competed well with them today," said Lehigh head coach Matt Utesch. "We just have to keep up that kind of effort moving forward to the dual meet and eventually the Patriot League Championships."
Otieno paced the Lehigh sprinters with a first place victory in the 200 meter dash, finishing with a time of 22.67 before turning in a third place finish in the 60 meter dash, crossing the line in 7.00. Leading the distance runners was Bernitt after winning the 3000 meter run with a time of 8:35.49.
"Our distance guys put a strong effort forth today," said Utesch. "It’s always great to have those guys as event winners."
Also providing a strong effort in the distance events was senior Lyle O’Brien who finished second in the 5000 meter run after crossing the line in 15:14.79.
In the pole vault, Tyler John had posted solid performances all through his freshman season and turned in his best yet, setting a personal record and topping the rest of the field with a height of 4.36 meters to win the event.
"Tyler was a huge bright spot for us with a personal record in the pole vault," said Utesch. "He did it in a jump-off and that was really exciting and great to see out of such a young competitor. He’s been working really hard and it is showing."
Another solid finish for the Mountain Hawks in the field events came from _ Benjamin Beauchamp who finished third in the weight throw with a distance of 14.83 meters. Sophomore Derek Gaul continued to excel in the long jump, posting a distance of 6.82 meters for a second place finish.
The Mountain Hawks will now host Lafayette for the Lehigh-Lafayette dual meet next Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. inside Rauch Fieldhouse. After next week’s dual meet, Lehigh will compete in three more meets before the indoor Patriot League Championships. The next home meet for the Brown and White will be the John Covert Classic on February 2.
We’re going to give the kids a little more rest and speed work this week," said Utesch. "There’s certainly a level of competition that comes out at that meet because of the history and spectacle of it. We can’t duplicate the atmosphere of that anywhere else and we’ll be looking for faster times."