2012 Patriot League Champions reflect on historic season at annual banquet
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – After winning its first Patriot League Championship in program history, the Lehigh men’s cross country team concluded its stellar season with its annual banquet held at the University Center on Sunday, December 9. The banquet consisted of a luncheon, awards presentation and a season reflection by head coach Todd Etters.
The Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, the program’s most prestigious award representing the demonstration of the true meaning of the phrase student-athlete, was presented to junior co-captain Tyler Mueller. Mueller was Lehigh’s top performer throughout the 2012 campaign four times, earning two wins and finishing seventh in the Patriot League Championships en route to the program’s first title.
The Pottstown, Pa. native not only demonstrated his ability to perform on the course, but also in the classroom. In addition to being a first team All-Patriot League team selection, Mueller also earned a spot on the Academic All-Patriot League team after cumulating a 3.35 GPA as a bioengineering major.
The team’s Athlete of the Year award was presented to sophomore Ryan Mahalsky. Mahalsky consistently improved over his 2012 campaign and eventually became a top 10 finisher at the Patriot League Championships, crossing the line in fifth place and earning a spot on the first team All-Patriot League. After his fifth-place performance, Mahalsky was Lehigh’s top performer at the 10K Mid-Atlantic Qualifiers, finishing in 45th place out of a field of 170 competitors.
Junior Jimmy Miller received the Coaches Award, presented to the student-athlete who made noteworthy contributions to the team in areas of attitude, improvement and leadership. Miller co-captained the 2012 championship squad and became Lehigh’s top performer at the Patriot League Championships, finishing in fourth place and leading the team to the elusive title.
The Keystone Award, presented to the student-athlete that demonstrates team leadership and commitment as well as athletic ability, was awarded to senior Lyle O’Brien. O’Brien was the lone senior on the 2012 Patriot League Champions and consistently provided the tools to keep the team focused during their journey and perseverance towards the 2012 crown, while also making significant contributions on the course throughout the 2012 season.
Photos by Sofi Barrionuevo