Posted: September 15, 2006
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – For the second consecutive year, the Mountain Hawks swept Lafayette in the annual Lehigh-Lafayette cross country dual meet. The Mountain Hawk women defeated the Leopards 22-35 while the men’s team defeated Lafayette 19-42 on Friday afternoon on the Goodman Campus. With the wins, the Mountain Hawk women hold a 12-10 all-time record in the series while the men increased their winning-streak to an eighth year. Lehigh’s men’s team maintains a 45-32-1 record in the series.
“We did what we wanted to do in this meet,” said head coach Debbie Utesch. “For the men, it was to increase that winning streak to another year. For the women, it was to get a win for the second year.”
In the women’s race, the Mountain Hawks placed six women in the top 10. Leading the way was senior Jenni Schappert, who won her second individual title of the season, covering the 6K course in a time of 22:22. Sophomore Shannon Alejandro picked up a third place finish, crossing the line in a time of 22:54. Seniors Sarah Seiler (23:11) and Carolyn House (23:18) finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Freshman Nicole Page narrowly beat out Lafayette’s Frances Morro to take seventh place. Page finished in a time of 23:22.0, just .7 ahead of Morro. Freshman Kaitlin Grimm rounded out the top 10, finishing in a time of 23:46.2
“We had a good spread between our first runner and our fifth,” said Utesch. “Now in the beginning, we are still jumbling for positions. Different classes are finishing in different places, but it will all come together at the end of the season.”
On the men’s side, while Lehigh dominated the top 10, taking eight places, the individual crown title was up in the air until the final stretch to the finish line. Former high school teammates, senior Sean Swift and Lafayette’s Alex Wechsler, remained by each other for most of the race. However, Swift was able to outsprint Wechsler to the finish line to claim the individual title. Swift covered the 8K course in a time of 24:54.
“It was an excellent win for Sean,” said Utesch. “He and Alex were teammates in high school so it was a high school battle relived. Alex is one of Lafayette’s good middle distance guys. Sean was able to run through the finish which was great because he was able to outkick someone with such good leg speed.”
Seniors Victor Vientos (25:24) and Brendan Glover (25:37), junior Joseph Kelly (26:23) and sophomore Jonathan Wetzel (26:27) took third through sixth places for the Mountain Hawks. Rounding out the top 10 were sophomores Daniel DeWitt (26:44, 8th) and Benjamin Lampi (26:49, 9th) and freshman Kenneth Burgess (26:54).
The final cross country meet on the Goodman Campus for the Mountain Hawks will be the 33rd annual Paul Short Run scheduled for Friday, September 29. The men’s collegiate invitational race is set to kick off the event with a start time of 2:00 pm while the women’s collegiate invitational is set to start at 2:45.