Lehigh names Andersen and Berard 2012 captains
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s cross country team announced on Thursday that seniors Samantha Andersen and Tori Berard have been named the fall captains for the 2012 season. The captains were announced at a team meeting between head coach Debbie Utesch and her squad on the eve of a meet against rival Lafayette.
Utesch considered the feedback from her runners into the decision as who to name the captains of her team for this season. Andersen and Berard have both shown an extensive amount experience, improvement and commitment to the program. Although the captains have been named, Utesch knows that her squad cannot let up on the improvement and dedication to the sport as the rest of the 2012 season is at stake with each day of work.
"I have seen a lot of growth from a lot of the returners which I have been very pleased with," said Utesch to her squad. "My biggest fear as we get into the situation where we name captains is that I don’t want the growth and development to stop. That is going to be absolutely critical."
Andersen is coming off a successful 2011 season that included a fifth place finish in the Lafayette dual meet and a 42nd place finish at the Patriot League Championships. Paired with Berard, the seniors will be tasked with leading their team on and off the course in all aspects related to the team.
Berard set a personal best at the 2011 Lafayette dual with a time of 22:29.0 and also placed 16th in the Paul Short Run college women’s White 6K race last year. Both seniors can attest to the hard work they have put in to not only get to this point but also to be prepared for the rest of the season to come.
"I think what I’ve had to work on since the spring until now has worked and I don’t want us to change our dynamic," said Andersen.
"I think we have a really good thing going," said Berard. "Everyone has their strong-suits and we need to embrace those."
The growth of the program is not only evident in the senior captains but also in the rest of the team and during the ceremony, was recognized by the senior captains in their acceptance speeches.
"I feel like I’ve grown so much from last year to this year," said Berard to her team. "I think that we have so much potential."
That potential will be on display when Lehigh hosts Lafayette in the annual dual meet on Friday at 5:45 p.m. at the Goodman Campus Course when the women will be seeking their eighth consecutive victory over the Leopards.