BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Following a fourth place finish at the Army six-way meet last Saturday, the Lehigh women’s track and field team will host Penn, Monmouth and Winthrop this weekend for the Angry Birds at Lehigh meet. All of Saturday’s action will kick off at 10 a.m. inside Rauch Fieldhouse with the field events.
"This is going to be a different meet for us because of the way it is scored," said head coach Matt Utesch. "We’re going to score two people in every event which awards depth to the programs. We have selected the teams because they are complete teams with a lot of depth. This will be a good indicator as to what kind of team we have rather than what kind of individuals we have."
Lehigh posted 98.5 points at the Army six-way meet for a fourth place finish out of six competing teams. Senior E’Lana Lemon highlighted the Mountain Hawks’ performance with a toss of 17.66 meters in the weight throw which is a current Patriot League best. Lemon won the event by a convincing .46 meters ahead of the rest of the 27 competitors. For her efforts, Lemon was named the Patriot League’s Female Field Athlete of the Week for the 10th time in her illustrious career.
"When we look back at the Army meet, we had a lot of great individual performances that we are immensely proud of, but this meet is not just about top-notch athletes," said Utesch. "This meet will be about the athletes we are developing and how we’re developing them and it’s going to be exciting to watch this meet."
Along with Lemon, senior Julia Perry also turned in a win for the Brown and White, claiming a victory in the 1000 meter run after crossing the line in 2:57.56.
The Mountain Hawks also took three of the top five spots in the 500 meter run, led by a second place finish for sophomore Natalie Bates (1:20.28). Also registering solid performances in the event were sophomores Taryn Schmelzinger in fourth (1:23.40) and Babette Hohrath in fifth (1:24.37).
Three Mountain Hawks now own Patriot League bests this year after the first three meets of the 2012-13 indoor season. Along with Ryan Paquin on the men’s side and Lemon’s throw of 17.66 for the women, senior Brooke Astor has recorded a league-best time in the 60 meter hurdle (9.02) and also holds the best pentathlon score (3238).
"That’s really nice to see and they are great road signs on the way to the Patriot League Championships," said Utesch. "We know that we’re going in the right direction because we are always improving technique which allows us to improve performances. We’re not always peaked for performances because we’re working very hard during the week. We can set our sights on a meet or group of meets that we are going to ‘turn it on’ and are able to set our kids up to have their absolute best performances when we want to."
This weekend will mark the first that all eight Patriot League squads will be in action as Lehigh, Bucknell and Navy will host events while the five remaining institutions will travel. The Mountain Hawks will also get their second look at Penn and Monmouth as Lehigh has competed against both thus far this season, hosting Penn at the Fast Times Before Finals meet before competing against Monmouth last weekend at the Army six-way.
After this weekend’s meet, the Mountain Hawks will host Lafayette in a dual meet on January 26 inside Rauch Fieldhouse scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.