Mountain Hawks take 17th at Penn State Invite
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Lehigh cross country teams participated in two meets on Saturday, competing in the Penn State Invitational and the Lafayette Invitational. The men’s team placed 17th out of 27 teams at Penn State and sixth out of nine squads at Lafayette, while the women took 17th out of 31 at Penn State and did not register a team score at Lafayette because only three runners took part in the meet.
Senior Evans Kosgei crossed the finish 43rd out of 266 runners at the Penn State Invitational with a 5.2M time of 26:13. Senior Andrew Jervis was the Mountain Hawks’ second finisher, taking 91st in 26:54. Also competing at Penn State were freshman Jimmy Miller (106, 26:59), senior Steve Sample (172, 27:47), freshman Sam Bernitt (174, 27:47), freshman Tyler Mueller, junior Dan Soltan, junior Evan Flach and senior Jordan Inacio. Syracuse took first place in the men’s race, followed by Penn State and Villanova.
"I think this was probably the best we've raced as a team in while," men's coach Todd Etters said. "We still have some work to do between now and the Patriot League Championship. It was a very narrow course, not a rhythm course. There were a lot of turns, but it wasn't very hilly, just some rolling hills. We can make some adjustments for the next time we run there now that we know about the course."
Junior Katherine Pierce was Lehigh’s top finisher in the women’s race, crossing the line in 88th with a 6K time of 22:28. Freshman Jessica Kendzor placed one second behind Pierce in 90th, while seniors Andrea Mascaro (96, 22:35) and Kaitlin Grimm (110, 22:46) gave Lehigh four runners in the top 110. Freshman Katherine Howley, junior Megan Hetzel, junior Carolyn Morse, sophomore Tori Berard, freshman Hannah Pierce and sophomore Samantha Andersen also competed in the field of 304 runners at Penn State. Villanova earned a first-place finish overall, followed by Syracuse and Penn State.
"I think we have all the pieces to be a very good team, but we haven't put them all together on the same day," women's coach Debbie Utesch said. "I think Jessica, Andrea and Kaitlin did a very good job working through an extremely fast first mile, handling the fast pace and continuing to work through two miles together. All three did a tremendous job of working together."
At the Lafayette Invitational, the Mountain Hawks were led by freshman Russ Vignali in the men’s race, who placed 39th out of 110 runners with a time of 27:25.1. Sophomore Mike Moreau took 47th in 27:34.0, while senior Bryan Herbst placed 54th in 27:45.8. Junior Silas Simotwo, senior Mark Degenhart, freshman Nick Molloy, freshman Sean Price and freshman Ryan Knouse also represented Lehigh in Easton.
The Lehigh women’s team ran only three runners at the Lafayette Invitational and did not register a team score. Freshman Charlotte Malmborg placed 24th out of 78 runners in 23:26.8. She was followed by freshman Peggy Lai in 43rd (24:14.7) and sophomore Lisa Glover in 50th (24:32.5).
American University topped the men’s field at the Lafayette Invitational, while the host Leopards earned a victory in the women’s race.
Lehigh will gear up for the 2010 Patriot League Championship in its next race on October 30. The event will be hosted by Lafayette and is set to begin at 11:00 a.m. with the women’s race and 12:00 p.m. with the men’s race. The Mountain Hawks will also return to Penn State for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Qualifiers on November 22.
"I think we learned that we have to be ready for a very fast first mile," Utesch added. "The course gets tougher as you go along. Moving forward, I think we're going to be in a pretty good place when we return."