Lehigh track and field to compete in Patriot League Championships Friday

Sophomore sprinter Djenne Dickens runs off after finishing to the end of a footwork speed drill at the Rauch Field House Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. Djenne finished 11th in the 100m in last year's 2015 Outdoor Patriot League. (Michael Lopinto/B&W Staff)

Sophomore sprinter Liyala Dickens runs off after finishing to the end of a footwork speed drill at the Rauch Field House on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. Dickens finished 11th in the 100m in last year’s 2015 Outdoor Patriot League Championship. (Michael Lopinto/B&W Staff)

Coming off of a strong meet against Bucknell University, the Lehigh men’s and women’s track and field teams will be competing in the Patriot League Championship starting Friday.

After competing against Bucknell, the coaching staff has high expectations from their athletes.

“The coaches are all excited to see what the team can do this weekend,” said Brooke Astor, assistant coach and former record holder for track and field. “The team has put a great deal of time preparing for Patriots so we are anxious to see everyone come together.”

The Lehigh men’s team took home three wins and a pair of runner-up performances against Bucknell, building momentum into this weekend’s championships. Junior Daniel Boardman won first place in triple jump along with scoring a new personal record distance of 13.90 meters. Junior Tom Troxell won first place in the 500 meter race and senior Tyler John finished first in the pole vault at 4.65 meters.

As for the women’s team, sophomore Hannah Leskow was first to cross the line in the 1,000 meter run. Sophomore Laura Barnes came in third place with a new personal record of 2:17.68.

“Our top athletes have continued to step up just as we expect them to,” Astor said. “The middle distance ladies have been a key part of the team. Marisa Karl and Clare Severe race really well together. Hannah Broskey, who put together a great 500 which should rank her well in the league, is also someone we have great expectations heading into championships.”

Astor noted that Pat Reilly, Ryan Cooney, Alex Fitzgerald and Evan Hardy have run strong, competitive races recently and will be some key threats in the distance events. Junior captain Katie Hatler, who finished second in the 60 meter hurdles, along with freshman Maura Henderson scoring a personal record 2:17.68 in the 800 meter run, will also be important competitors for this weekend’s championships.

Hatler said there are high expectations of the women’s team to take home championship trophy. The team ideally needs to end Saturday with a cumulative 75 points on the women’s side, she said.

“This is going to require each person to push themselves to the highest level possible and be laser focused,” Hatler said. “I specifically need to run a fast and clean 60 meter hurdle race, taking top three. Our coaches have been pushing us to take it to the next level. They understand the success that our team can achieve if we are all focused.”

Hatler talked about the team’s motto, “resolve,” meaning to have the team come closer together and close out the season by taking home the trophy this weekend. Historically, last year the team placed third in indoor Patriots, and the year prior to that it placed second.

Both the men’s and women’s teams are ready to resolve and put its efforts together to win the trophy this weekend.

“We are all ready to put all our hard work on the line and leave everything on the track,” Hatler said.

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