Astor, Utesch claim major awards as Lehigh finishes third at PLCs
WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Lehigh women’s track and field team completed a strong showing at the Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championships, which wrapped-up Sunday at Army’s Gillis Field House. The Mountain Hawks challenged for the top spot throughout the weekend and finished in third place with 106.33 points. Junior Brooke Astor was named Women’s Field Athlete of the Meet, while head coach Matt Utesch was named Women’s Coach of the Year.
“We’re very proud of what we did, especially on the women’s side,” said Utesch, who earned his third Coach of the Year award and his first for women’s indoor track. He previously won the award for men’s indoor in 2001 and for women’s outdoor in 2003. “We had a ton of champs and All-Patriot League selections, especially in the relays but eventually came up a little short. I would trade the Coach of the Year awards to get into the top two. It was a stellar performance, we just came up a little empty at the end.”
Astor won the women’s indoor pentathlon on Friday and added a second place finish in the 60 meter hurdles on Sunday with a time of 8.87 seconds.
The Mountain Hawks won three events through the first two days of competition and added two more first place finishes on Sunday. Senior Jessica Kendzor was one of three Lehigh runners to score points in the 800 meters, winning the event with an ECAC-qualifying time of 2:13.67. Seniors Julia Perry and Kathleen Ryan finished in fifth and sixth place respectively.
Lehigh’s senior quartet of Lauren Pietrosh, Ryan, Kendzor and Perry won the distance medley relay with a time of 12:06.50, good enough to meet the ECAC qualifying standard.
Perry also led Lehigh in the mile, finishing third overall with a time of 5:03.25 to score six team points. Junior Danielle Albergo finished third in the 400 meters, with a time of 57.80 with sophomore Halie Carter finishing sixth in the same event with a time of 59.37.
Lehigh placed three runners in the top 15 of the 1000 meters with Lauren Pietrosh leading the way placing fifth at 2:57.82. Sophomore Serenah Polite posted a pair of top five finishes, taking third in the 60 meter hurdles in 9.15 second and finishing fourth in the triple jump with a distance of 11.17 meters.
On Saturday senior E’Lana Lemon earned first team All-League honors by winning the weight throw, while the quartet of Perry, Kendzor, Brittany Pietrosh and Lauren Pietrosh won the 4x800 meter relay to earn first team All-League honors as well.
Lehigh entered the final day of competition less than two points behind Bucknell and finished less than four points behind Navy, which finished second to Bucknell. The Bison won their second straight championship with 162 points, while the Mountain Hawks bested Army by 22 points for third.
Lehigh will return to action in two weeks when the Mountain Hawks compete at the ECAC Championships in Boston, Mass. on March 1-2.
Women’s Final Standings
1. Bucknell (162 points)
2. Navy (110)
3. Lehigh (106.33)
4. Army (84.33)
5. Holy Cross (74)
6. Lafayette (47.33)
7. Colgate (36)