Junior Brad DeMassa showcased an impressive fall season for the Lehigh men’s cross country team, capping off his third campaign with a team-leading 50th place finish at the NCAA Mid Atlantic Regional.
DeMassa has been a key contributor for the Mountain Hawks throughout the entire fall season. Before the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, he placed 17th at the Patriot League Championship.
Coach Todd Etters said one factor that has contributed to DeMassa’s success on the course this fall is his toughness and overall consistency. He said DeMassa is at an advantage in many cases due to his ability to remain composed during high-pressure races.
“(DeMassa) is a solid and consistent performer, and I attribute a lot of that to his toughness,” Etters said. “He has the perfect mentality for our sport.”
Junior Sean Brown agreed with Etters and said the fearless way DeMassa attacks every race has lead to his consistently solid finishes for the team.
“I am really pleased with this year,” DeMassa said. “It really meant a lot for me to get out there and push myself to my limit.”
But DeMassa said his success means more to him than accumulating honors. He said his top finishes were especially meaningful to him because he was able to do it for his teammates, all of whom have worked extremely hard this year.
Now that the fall season has concluded, DeMassa and the rest of the team will shift gears to prepare for the indoor and outdoor track seasons. DeMassa said he will look to bring the confidence he gained from his last few finishes, and he hopes to build momentum through the winter and spring competitions to carry into next fall.
“I think after this cross country season, he’s going to have a solid upward trajectory,” Brown said. “I think he’ll do some really special things in the league.”
DeMassa said he is excited for the upcoming track seasons, as he and his teammates will have new opportunities to go out and show their hard work and perform well.
Regardless of how well the team places or the total miles it runs, DeMassa said the people he runs alongside have contributed most to his favorite memories at Lehigh. This sense of community and family is something DeMassa noticed about Lehigh and the cross country program early in his recruiting process.
“Everybody who I met here has been awesome. I really felt that connection even when I came here on my recruiting visit.” DeMassa said. “I realized that these were a good group of people and that they would really help me out.”
DeMassa and the team will look to prepare for the indoor and outdoor track season by developing physically and mentally. However, they ultimately know that, regardless of the outcome on the track, the memories they will make are a result of the bond they have built.
“What makes it special is the people that you meet and the people you know you can always count on to be there for you,” DeMassa said, “that is my favorite part of being here and being on the team.”