Lehigh set to host rival Lafayette in dual meet Friday
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s cross country team will renew its annual rivalry with Lafayette when it takes on the Leopards in a dual meet Friday at 5:30 p.m. The Mountain Hawks have defeated Lafayette in each of the last six dual meets with the most recent win coming last season 25-36. The women’s team will be the first Lehigh athletics team of the year to take part in the Lehigh/Lafayette series, something they take a lot of pride in.
“We take a lot of pride in being the first sport of the year to go head-to-head and start the Lehigh/Lafayette series,” said head coach Debbie Utesch. “We are hoping to start off with a win and set the tone for the department for the year.”
Lehigh is coming off a fifth place finish at the Iona Meet of Champions. For the second race in a row, it was freshman Savanna Plombon who had the highest finish for the Mountain Hawks, placing eighth overall with a time of 22:45.94 while Lehigh had three runners inside the Top 20. Senior Katherine Pierce finished 12th with a time of 23:02.52 while freshman Shannon Nelson placed 19th with a time of 23:11.72.
The Mountain Hawks have raced once already on their home course this season when they placed first at the Lehigh Invitational in the first race of the year. Lafayette also took part in that race as it finished in second place with 67 points.
In last year’s Lehigh/Lafayette dual meet, it was Pierce who led the way finishing second to pace seven Lehigh runners in the Top 10. The Mountain Hawks will look to use that same kind of depth to its advantage on Friday.
“We have put together a bit of a streak recently against Lafayette and we’ll look to continue that on Friday,” said Utesch.