BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh hosted the 38th-annual Paul Short Run presented by Brooks on Friday at the Goodman Campus. The Lehigh men’s cross country team came away with a 20th-place finish out of 45 teams in the men's Gold 8K race. The Mountain Hawks were led by Evans Kosgei who placed 10th overall out of 402 runners with a time of 24:25. The women’s team finished 24th out of 45 teams in the women’s Gold 6K race led by Katherine Pierce who placed 66th overall out of 396 runners with a time of 21:44.
“I think we are right where we were hoping we would finish,” said men’s head coach Todd Etters. “With that many nationally ranked and regional teams, I thought we handled ourselves well. As for Evans, that’s where we wanted him to be. You can’t ask much more than that.”
“Katherine has been a tremendous leader for us and she doesn’t shy away from this level of competition,” said head coach Debbie Utesch. “We are at the end of a tough training cycle racing for the third week in a row, but it looked like we muscled through the race. And if we did that and still put out the performance we did then we are feeling pretty excited about what’s to come at the end of the season so I think we have some really good things going. “
The University of Oklahoma, which is ranked No. 4 in the nation, took the men’s gold title with 34 points, placing four runners inside the Top 10. Georgetown, ranked No. 22 nationally, took second (143), Columbia third (156), Villanova, ranked No. 18 nationally, took fourth (177) and Syracuse, ranked No. 15 nationally, fifth (229).
In addition to Kosgei, senior Evan Flach turned in another strong effort finishing 128th with a time of 25:44. Other Mountain Hawks that competed in the race included sophomore Jimmy Miller who placed 134th (25:45), sophomore Sam Bernitt (138 – 25:47), sophomore Tyler Mueller (158 – 25:54), freshman Casey Gilboy (265 – 27:08) and freshman Nick Ward 27:42.
It was Lehigh’s best team finish since it placed 15th in 2008 and Kosgei’s 10th-place was the best by a Mountain Hawk since 2006 when Sean Swift also finished 10th.
Etters was happy with the effort, but knows there is still work to be done.
“Certainly there is still thing we need to improve upon,” said Etters. “We can’t take our foot off of the accelerator. October is a big month for us but I feel good where we are right and Paul Short will build confidence for the guys.”
Sophomore Paul Chelimo from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro was the men’s champion with a time of 23:55. Senior Jeremy Sudbury from the University of Oklahoma took second with a time of 24:12 while his teammate senior George Alex finished one second later in third place.
Providence College, which is ranked No. 3 in the nation, took the women’s gold title with 101 points, edging out Villanova, which is ranked No. 5 in the nation, by three points (104). Syracuse, ranked No. 12 nationally, took third (125), No. 1 Georgetown was fourth (141) while No. 16 Virginia was fifth (152).
In addition to Pierce, freshman Savanna Plombon turned in another strong effort finishing 84th with a time of 22:02. Plombon finished first among other Patriot League freshmen. Other Mountain Hawks that competed in the race included senior Amanda Gosselin who placed 165th (22:51), sophomore Jessica Kendzor (205 – 23:17), freshman Shannon Nelson (216 – 23:23), freshman Shannon Wright (219 – 23:23) and sophomore Marissa Galante (222 – 23:24).
It was Lehigh’s best team finish since it placed 17th in 2008. While Utesch was happy with how the girls finished, she knows it’s going to be a much different story come Patriot League championships.
“You can get away and hide in a race like Paul Short, but that will not be the case at the league championships,” said Utesch. “We are well aware of that. It’s very different type of competition and you won’t be able to hide in numbers. It’s all about guts and glory.”
Senior Bogdana Mimic from Villanova was the women’s champion with a time of 20:10. Shippensburg University senior Neely Spence took second with a time of 20:19 while Providence College sophomore Emily Sisson was a second behind in third place.
In the men’s 8K Brown race, Iona took the top spot with a team score of 125, followed by Binghamton (204) and Nebraska Wesleyan (294). Colgate’s Christopher Johnson won the race with a time of 25:19 while Iona’s Jason Weller placed second (25:38) and Molloy College’s Nick Filippazzo took third (25:40).
In the women’s 6K Brown race, Iona took the top spot with a team score of 125 points, followed by the University of Tampa (15) while Marist College and Rowan University tied in third with 158 points. Rowan’s Vanessa Wright won the race with a time of 21:40 while American University’s Octavia Rinehardt was two seconds back in second place and Iona’s Regina Neumeyer was third (21:47).
Kutztown University (120 points) claimed the top spot in the men’s White race followed by Felician College (151) and Gwynedd-Mercy College (178). Saint Rose’s Macky Lloyd placed first with a time of 25:32 while Felician’s Rob Albano took second (25:40) and Goucher College’s Joey Negreann finished third (26:10).
Kutztown (69 points) also took the top spot in the women’s White race followed by Seton Hill University (85) and RIT (199). Seton Hill’s Stephanie Pryor placed first with a time of 22:52 while Queens College’s Indira Avila took second (22:56) and Misericordia University’s Marina Orrson finished third (23:04).
In the high school boys' Brown race, La Salle College High School placed first with 154 points. Chestnut Hill’s Dustin Wilson was the individual winner with a time of 15:46.
In the high school girls' Brown race, Pennsbury Girls placed first for the second-straight year with 114 points. Charter School of Wilmington’s Julie Macedo was the individual winner with a time of 17:26.
In the high school boys' White race, West Chester East topped the field for the second-straight year with 112 points. In a photo finish, Jared Schatz of Lancaster Mennonite was the individual winner with a time of 16:21.
In the high school girls' White race, Cornwall High School topped the field with 141 points. Mount Saint Joseph Academy’s Haasiyna Taylor placed first with a time of 18:39.
In the boys' high school JV race, Walter Johnson High School finished first with 26 points. Cumberland Valley’s Kyle Rohde won the race with a time of 17:33.
In the girls' high school JV race, Walt Whitman finished first with 56 points. Stroudsburg’s Kirsten Henning won the race with a time of 21:08.