After a season featuring several great individual achievements, Lehigh men’s and women’s track and field now faces perhaps its biggest test yet this weekend: the Patriot League Championship.
With the season having its fair share of up and downs, the Hawks are eager to win the tournament. The championship will be hosted in West Point, New York, and will go from May 1-2.
The men’s team came in fifth place at the championship last year and its next step is to improve upon that this year. Many new personal records have been set throughout the season, which makes for a positive attitude going into the weekend. A source of confidence for the Hawks stems from their victory against Lafayette College this season, redeeming themselves after losing to the Leopards last spring.
The final roster has not been finalized yet, but it will include 35 men and 35 women. Standouts for the men are senior Justin Mahoney in the 400 meter, senior Ryan Mahalsky in the 1,500 meter, 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter, sophomore Dan Boardman in the long jump, senior Ben Beauchamp in the discus and hammer, senior Robbie Hugin in the 400 meter hurdles and freshman Trevor Knowles in the decathlon.
“In the past, we have gotten fourth and fifth place out of nine,” Mahalsky said. “We are hoping to break into the top three this year.”
The women’s team came in second place in the outdoor championship last year, so the group is eager to perform at that level again and hopefully move up to first place. Unlike the men’s team, the women’s team lost to Lafayette this spring. They also came in third in the indoor championship this past winter, which has also added momentum.
Sophomore Brenna Clark said that doing so well in indoor has given them confidence.
“We came in third at indoor Patriots behind Bucknell University and Boston University, two very talented programs, and we are ready to go after them and the rest of the league once again,” Clark said. “The rankings are all very close, and we feel that we have just as much a shot at a trophy as any other team”
Standout girls who have performed well this season include senior Tory Mullane in the 800 meter, sophomore Katie Hatler in the 100 meter hurdles, graduate student Hannah Pierce in the 3000 meter steeplechase, sophomore Courtney Avery in the high jump, and senior Natalie Bates and junior Elly Wardle in the heptathlon.
There will be many more contributors from both the men and women’s teams, and everyone has the goal of improving from last year.
“We’ve had some ups and downs throughout the season, but we just had our last home meet before Patriots and everyone did a really great job of improving their marks as we head into the championship,” Weiler said. “We are looking to match or better our results from the indoor season, and I believe we can.”