Posted: 10/26/2012 | Last updated: November 20, 2012 at 10:20 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s cross country team will be in search of the Patriot League crown this Saturday when it treks to Hamilton, N.Y. to compete in the 2012 Patriot League Championships on the Harry H. Lang course at the campus of Colgate. Led by senior Julia Perry and junior co-captains Tori Berard and Sam Anderson, the Mountain Hawks will be in search of their second title in school history, the lone championship coming in 1992.
Lehigh is coming off of a 15th-place finish at the Princeton Invitational two weeks ago in its first race away from the Goodman Campus Course. Junior Hannah Pierce was the Mountain Hawks’ top finisher, crossing the line in 22:54 for a 54th-place finish. Sophomore Ingrid Simon and junior co-captain Tori Berard crossed the line simultaneously at 23:07, placing 74th and 75th, respectively. Pierce was the top Lehigh performer of a field consisting of 219 finishing competitors. As a team, the Mountain Hawks scored 379 points, 29 points behind 14th-place Rider.
The Princeton Invitational was the second time Pierce finished as a top performer for the Mountain Hawks after placing sixth in the Lehigh Invitational to start the 2012 campaign. Junior Marissa Galante is the top returning performer from last year’s Patriot League Championships as she crossed the line in 23:31.80 for 30th place. She and the rest of the Mountain Hawks scored 128 points en route to a fifth place finish. It was Lehigh’s best finish at the Patriot League Championships since placing third in the 2008 league championships.
Katherine Howley (23:33.80), Jess Kendzor (23:42.90), Shannon Wright (23:43.50), Sam Andersen (23:55.30), Amanda Gosselin (24:01.70), Shannon Nelson (24:14.20) and Pierce (24:41.90) are all returning runners from last year’s Patriot League Championships that were held on the Goodman Campus Course. Ever more seasoned, this year’s squad will look to unseat the defending champion and regionally-ranked Navy Midshipmen from their title.
The Mountain Hawks will look to the leadership of its captains, Andersen and Berard as well as senior Julia Perry to pace the pack in hopes of capturing that illusive title. Perry will be well-rested, as the Reading, Mass. native has not competed since a 146th-place finish in the women’s Gold race at the Paul Short Run. She has been Lehigh’s top performer in her only two races this season, winning the Lehigh-Lafayette Dual Meet before her performance in the Paul Short Run.
All of Saturday’s action will start at 11 a.m. with the women’s race, followed by the men at 12 p.m. After Saturday’s race, Lehigh will await the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Qualifiers at University Park, Pa. on November 9 before the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky. on November 17.