Freshman Taj Blount-Oden leaps into the long jump pit Saturday, January 31 at the John Covert Classic at Rauch Field House. The Mountain Hawks will return to action next weekend at the Giegengack Invitational at Yale University. (Meghan Reilly/B&W photo)

Track season picks up with Giegengack Invitational in New Haven


This upcoming weekend, the men’s and women’s track teams look forward to the Giegengack Invitational, a meet that is considered an opportunity to practice fine-tuning in anticipation of championship races later in the season.

The Mountain Hawks will travel to New Haven, Connecticut to participate in this meet hosted by Yale University. The invitational will start at 5 p.m. on Friday and continue into the following Saturday afternoon.

The competition will include fellow Patriot League schools and some Ivy League schools, such as Yale and Colgate University.

“I’m excited for the meet at Yale this weekend,” said senior mid-distance runner Victoria Mullane. “I think it is important that we continue to improve our times and marks with Patriots only being two weeks away, and this will be a great opportunity to do that.”

Going into this weekend, both the men’s and women’s teams have a 1-0 record, snagging victories over rival Lafayette College about a week ago with finals scores of 120-61 and 96-85, respectively. Lehigh also had a strong representation this past weekend at the Armory Invitational in New York City and the John Covert Classic at Rauch Fieldhouse. Junior Elizabeth Weiler set a new Lehigh record in the 5,000 meter race at the Armory Invitational. Also, sophomore Courtney Avery, who tied her own school record of 1.75 meters in the high jump at the Covert Classic, earned first place in the event.

The men’s team put in a lot of work as well, as it was able to secure four first place finishes at the Covert Classic. In addition, senior Ryan Mahalsky and junior Evan Ward gave great performances at the Armory Invitational.

At the invitational, the men’s and women’s teams are hoping to be positioned well for Patriot League Championship, which is only a mere two weeks away. They are also using these early season meets as preparation the IC4A/ECAC Championship that takes place in March.

“It’s our last chance to compete on a banked track, which means it’s a great opportunity to run fast times and get good seed marks for the Patriot League championships or qualifying times for the IC4A/ECAC championships,” said senior long distance runner Simon Voorhees. “The competition is usually quite strong, so not only the runners, but the field athletes will also have an opportunity to face competition at, or maybe even above the level of the Patriot League. It would be great to get several more qualifiers for IC4A’s and see good marks all across the board. It’s a good time to see where we’re at.”

After this weekend, the Mountain Hawks’ track and field teams will travel to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, to compete in the Bucknell Tuneup on Feb. 13, which starts at 5 p.m.

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