In a contest that sported over 400 teams and 5,000 athletes, Lehigh cross country was prepared to compete.
The 42nd annual Paul Short Run took place this past Friday on Goodman Campus. Colleges and universities from across the country such as Cornell University, Williams College and East Carolina University participated in the event. There was also a section of the event for high school runners.
The Lehigh men’s and women’s cross country teams were fierce competitors in the Men’s Gold 8K and the Women’s Gold 6K.
In the Men’s Gold 8K, the Lehigh cross country team placed ninth overall – the same standing as last year’s performance. Posting a time of 24:36, sophomore Patrick Reilly was the first member of the team to complete the 8K. While Georgetown University won the Gold 8K, the strong finish by the Lehigh team solidifies its contention in the Patriot League.
“We’re definitely really pumped,” junior Ryan Cooney said. “Everyone has been working out really well the last couple of weeks and Paul Short was our chance to turn that excitement into confidence. I think we made a statement to the rest of the league that we intend to win a championship this year and we’re going to be confident moving forward.”
Cooney finished 77th for the day with a time of 25:16 along with three other Lehigh runners that finished within the top 77. The other runners include Reilly, senior Evan Hardy with a time of 25:03 and senior Evan Ward with 25:11.
The Lehigh women’s team placed 31st in the Gold 6K. Sophomore Laura Barnes led the team with a time of 21:56, followed by graduate student Shannon Wright with a time of 22:36. Other members of the women’s team competed in the event’s open run. Standout runners included junior Anne Birkenman and sophomores Jennifer Burke, Samantha Lerner and Sarah Spring.
The average times for other teams in the Patriot League such as Bucknell University and Army were 23:02 and 23:06 respectively.
The overall winners for Paul Short Run were the University of Guelph for the Women’s Gold 6K and Georgetown University in the Men’s Gold 8K, with Blanca Fernandez of Temple University and Patrick Tiernan of Villanova University as the overall winners of the run.
Both Lehigh men’s and women’s cross country teams look to solidify their standings in the Patriot League at the Princeton Invitational on Oct. 17.