LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Lehigh track and field teams had a stellar day at day two of the Patriot League Championships as the women sit in second place while the men are tied for third. The women had a pair of first-place finishes and four ECAC qualifiers and All-League members while the men had one first-place finish and five qualify for the IC4As. Sunday will mark the final day of action, set to begin at 10 a.m.
“We’ve been in this position before where we have a great first two days, but then fade on the final day,” said head coach Matt Utesch. “The difference this year is I think we have a chance to hold on. We have a lot of good spots to score in the events left. We are ready to roll and there are points out there and we are looking forward to going after them
Brooke Astor got the women’s team off to a good start on day one Friday winning the pentathlon with 3,450 points for her second-straight indoor Patriot League Championship in the event. Astor took first in the 60-meter hurdles then fifth in the high jump, fifth in the shot put and third in the long jump. It all came down to the 800-meter run where Astor took second to give her the victory and give the Mountain Hawks 10 points. Astor tied the 3,450-point mark needed to qualify for ECACs.
Lehigh’s other first-place finish came in the 4X800-meter relay as the team of Alexandra Neville, Lauren Pietrosh, Julia Perry and Jessica Kendzor gave the Mountain Hawks another 10 points with a winning team of 8:59.60. The time was not only an ECAC qualifying one, but it was just 0.54 seconds away from Bucknell’s facility record set in 1997 and just 0.05 seconds away from the Patriot League and Lehigh school record which was set in 2009.
E’Lana Lemon continued her stellar season with a second place finish in the weight throw with a distance of 17.62m to earn the Mountain Hawks eight points. Her distance was an ECAC qualifying one, but she already qualified earlier in the season.
Katherine Pierce gave Lehigh another eight points as she took second in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:13.00, surpassing the qualifying time of 17:33.64 for the ECACs.
Lehigh sits 20 points behind Navy for first place while the Mountain Hawks are only three points ahead of Bucknell in third and nine points ahead of Army in fourth. Lafayette is in fifth with 20 points and Holy Cross in sixth with 14.
On the men’s side, the Mountain Hawks’ lone victory came in the long jump as Stephen Tutunjian won the event with a distance 7.10m to give the Mountain Hawks 10 points. The final day begins Sunday at 10 a.m.
It was Tutunjian’ second Patriot League Championship in the event as he won the 2011 long jump at the outdoor Championships.
Lehigh got 14 points in the heptathlon as Kyle Forrest took second with 4,932 points and Ryan Paquin took third with 4,814 points. Both point totals qualified for the IC4As, surpassing the 4,800 points needed. Forrest earned the Mountain Hawks eight points for his finish while Paquin got six.
The Mountain Hawks also got four points from a pair of fifth-place finishes. Evans Kosgei took fifth in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 14:32.32 which qualified him for the IC4As and Stephen Rumizen was fifth in the high jump with a distance of 1.99m.
Lehigh picked up one point in the 4X800-meter relay as the team of Daniel Paez, Gregory Caldwell, Christopher Watson and Kenneth Wilkinson placed sixth with a time of 7:45.78, which was good enough to qualify for the IC4As.
Action gets underway at 10 a.m. Sunday with the awards ceremony, which will include the crowning of the 2012 Patriot League Champion, set for 5 p.m.