Posted: October 31, 2009
HAMILTION, N.Y. – The men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the Patriot League Championship Saturday morning at Colgate. The men’s team earned a fourth place finish (98 points) while the women’s team finished in seventh (143 points). Sophomores Evans Kosgei and Katherine Pierce were Lehigh’s top finishers in their respective races.
“The actual execution of the race is what we expected,” men’s head coach Todd Etters said. “I was happy that we went out and battled with every team. Some guys had an off day, but others stepped up and filled the void.”
“We didn’t show up today,” women’s head coach Debbie Utesch. “It is extremely disappointing and there is really not a lot to say because I know the team is better than this.”
On the men’s side, Navy with a total of 34 points was able to edge out American (54 points) to take first place. The Midshipmens' Andrew Hanko was the top finisher on the men’s side as he finished in 26:17.9. Navy was able to place three runners in the top-10 of the race.
The Mountain Hawk men were led by Kosgei who finished the race in 26:24, good for second place overall. With the impressive finish he earned First Team All-Patriot League distinction. Senior co-captain Douglas Ridyard was Lehigh’s second best runner as he finished the race in a time of 26:42.5 to come in 11th place. For his strong performance Ridyard was named to the Second Team All-Patriot League.
“Ridyard finishing in 11th is great,” Etters said. “This is a guy that didn’t even compete in this race last year and it shows you how far he’s come.
Etters continued, “Evans ran a phenomenal race today. Overall I was extremely happy with both of their performances and I hope that they can serve as an example of what we can accomplish.”
On the women’s side Bucknell with 65 points took first place and was followed by Army who had 81 points. Sophomore Elise DeRoo from Colgate used the advantage of running on her home course as she won the race in a time of 22:01.7. The Bison had four runners finish in the top-15 of the race.
Lehigh was led by Pierce who continued to establish herself as one of the top runners in the league as she finished in third place overall with a time of 23:02.5 to earn First Team All-Patriot League honors.
“Pierce had a tremendous race,” women’s head coach Debbie Utesch said. “She put herself in the mix from the start, on a very tough course. She worked her way through and almost ran into second place. She put forth such a tremendous effort.”
Senior Kaitlin Grimm (20th place) and junior Alexis Weiner (37th place) were Lehigh’s next two finishers but it was freshman Samantha Andersen (41st place) who really impressed Utesch.
“Sam had her best race of the year today,” Utesch said. She stayed tough through the hills and held her place. She is setting herself up for a good career and we’re seeing flickers of what she is capable of.”
Both teams must prepare themselves for a trip to Maryland in two weeks for NCAA Mid-Atlantic Qualifiers.
“We have to continue to develop and we will be looking towards the future when we head to Maryland,” Utesch said. "Katherine is one of the top runners in the Patriot League and I believe she is starting to show that she is in the upper tier of the Region.”
“No one has seen the course, but we know that it isn’t going to be harder than today,” Etters said about the regional race. "Evans will be looking to qualify for nationals and Ridyard should challenge for All-Region. I know the guys will be excited to race everyone the Patriot League again.”
The Mountain Hawks will head to Princess Anne, Md. on November 14 to compete in Regionals. The action will get started at 11 a.m.