BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh cross country teams started the 2010 season off on the right foot as the men’s squad placed first at the Lehigh Invitational and the women’s team took second on Friday night. Junior Evan Flach coasted to a first-place finish in the men’s race, while junior Katherine Pierce placed second overall in the women’s race.
Flach set the pace with a time of 18:36.0, finishing eight seconds ahead of Rider’s Christian Gonzalez. Freshmen Tyler Mueller and Jimmy Miller posted impressive finishes in their first collegiate race, placing third and fifth, respectively. Senior Steve Sample crossed the line behind Miller in sixth and sophomore Lyle O’Brien placed 10th to give Lehigh five of the top 10 finishers. Senior Steve Abate posted a 13th-place finish, while senior Andrew Jervis took 14th.
“It was a great surprise to see guys finishing so high in their first collegiate race,” men’s head coach Todd Etters said of Mueller and Miller. “I was pleased to see how we handled ourselves out there.”
The men’s team recorded a score of 25 for the meet, while Rider finished a distant second with a score of 72. Muhlenberg took third, Lafayette placed fourth, DeSales finished fifth, Widener took sixth and Moravian and Kutztown placed seventh and eighth, respectively.
In the women’s race, Pierce finished with a time of 22:31.8 to lead the Mountain Hawks. Senior Andrea Mascaro crossed the finish in sixth with a time of 22:41.6 and senior Kaitlin Grimm placed 10th with a finish in 22:53.5. Junior Carolyn Morse, freshman Katherine Howley and senior Alexis Weiner took 13th, 14th and 15th, respectively.
“Coming in, we set up a couple of distinct packs,” women’s coach Debbie Utesch explained. “Katherine Pierce was charged with pacing the second pack, so we actually held her back over the first 4,000 meters. She closed really fast over the last 2K.”
The women’s race was won by Navy with a score of 37, just eight points lower than the Brown and White in second. Lafayette claimed third place, Kutztown took fourth, Rider placed fifth, DeSales finished sixth, Muhlenberg placed seventh and Moravian and Cedar Crest took eighth and ninth, respectively.
The Mountain Hawks will be back in action on September 18 at the Iona Meet of Champs in the Bronx, N.Y. The women’s race is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m., while the men’s is set for 10:15 a.m.