BETHLEHEM, Pa. – With the running of the 33rd annual Brooks Paul Short Run, Lehigh competed in its final meet on the Goodman Campus of the 2006 season. Over 220 collegiate and high school teams came to take part in the meet. Out of 42 teams in the men’s invitational race, the Mountain Hawks finished 13th with 364 points. The Mountain Hawk women finished 14th out of 35 teams with 423 points.
Leading the way for the Mountain Hawk men were two top-20 finishers, seniors Sean Swift and Victor Vientos, who both ran sub-25:00. Swift placed ninth overall, covering the 8K course in 24:33. Vientos finished the race in a time of 24:52 to take 19th. Rounding out the Mountain Hawks were seniors Brendan Glover (55th, 25:18) and Steve Rosinski (136th, 26:10), sophomore Jonathan Wetzel (145th, 26:15), junior Joe Kelly (158th, 26:24) and freshman Jared LeBar (227th, 27:12).
“I was very happy for our front three,” said head coach Debbie Utesch. “It’s the first year we’ve had two men be awards winners. Steve Rosinski is starting to return to form after an earlier injury. We are really reaching for our four and five spot runners. We are really good up front, but we need to put the guys together that can back up that front pack.”
Villanova won its first Paul Short team title since 1996 and had a runner take the individual title for the first time since 2000. Crossing the line in a race-winning time 23:53 was senior Robert Curtis. Rounding out the top five were Pitt, Columbia, Division III’s SUNY Cortland and Virginia Intermont of the NAIA.
Senior Jenni Schappert paced the Mountain Hawks, running 21:29 and, for the second consecutive year, placing 24th. Sophomore Shannon Alejandro was the second Mountain Hawk to cross the line, finishing 62nd in a time of 22:19. Senior Sarah Seiler followed, completing the 6K course in 22:39 and 85th place. Rounding out the women’s team were freshman Nicole Page (112th, 23:04), senior Carolyn House (140th, 23:29), freshman Kaitlin Grimm (152nd, 23:36) and sophomore Katie McClernand (171st, 23:55).
“The women’s results were very scattered,” said Utesch. “We had some that ran very well, including Jenni Schappert and Shannon Alejandro up front. We had a couple who were just really off today and did not run what they are capable of running.”
No. 13 Princeton edged out No. 9 Wisconsin in a battle for the women’s title. The Tigers placed all seven runners in the top-30 while scoring 61 points. The Badgers came in second with 62 points. The Villanova women’s team got its first Paul Short 6K champion when junior Frances Koons crossed the line in 20:16, which was also a new meet record.
In the high school boys’ race, Quince Orchard won the team title with 158 points. Strath Haven’s Rob Speare took the boys’ individual title.
In the high school girls’ race, Emmaus took the team crown with 122 points. Crossing the line first was Neely Spence from Shippensburg Area.
Lehigh will return to action on October 14 when the Mountain Hawks travel to Fayetteville, Ark. for the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival. Race time is set to begin at 9:45 am Central Time with the men’s collegiate race.