BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Ryan Mahalsky was named the Patriot League Male Rookie Runner of the Week, as announced by the league on Tuesday. In his first collegiate race, Mahalsky finished ninth overall at the Lehigh Invitational on September 2nd with a time of 19:04.20, an average mile of 5:06.9 as he was the only freshman to finish in the top 13.
"You could see right away that Ryan is a hard worker and really talented kid," said men’s cross country head coach Todd Etters. "It’s nice to see that come out right away in a race situation. He is competitive and realizing right away that he can help this team."
The Mountain Hawks completed the invitational with a perfect team score of 15 en route to defending its first place finish from last year at the Lehigh Invitational. Lehigh finished well ahead of La Salle who finished second with a total score of 84 while Patriot League-foe Lafayette placed third with a score of 106. DeSales (126) was fourth, Kutztown (127) was fifth while Muhlenberg (134) and Moravian (134) tied in sixth and West Chester University was eighth (211).
While the Lehigh Invitational was a 6K, the races the rest of this season except for NCAA’s will be 8K. But Etters isn’t concerned about the transition for the rookie.
"Ryan will have to adjust, but he is trained to do that and he will be able to do that fine," said Etters. "He just can’t let the numbers rattle him and let his head play tricks on him. But he is more than ready to handle the switch."
In addition, sophomore Jimmy Miller received honorable mention for the league’s male Runner of the Week award as he finished first at the Lehigh Invitational with a time of 18:45.80.
Mahalsky, Miller and the rest of the Mountain Hawks will be back in action on September 17th when they travel to the Bronx, N.Y. for the Iona Meet of Champions. The men’s race is schedule to start at 10:15 a.m.