Junior Ian Scott jumps during the triple jump event at the Patriot League Championships on Feb. 26, 2023 at Navy. The Mountain Hawks finished in fourth place at the Patriots League Championship. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Track and Field teams repeat Patriot League Indoor Championships results


Five Lehigh track and field athletes boasted medals while 20 others qualified for points toward event standings in the Patriot League Indoor Championships.

The event took place on Feb. 25 and 26 at Navy’s Wesley Brown Fieldhouse in Annapolis, Maryland. The women’s team finished in fifth place, while the men’s team finished fourth — the same positions both teams finished in last year.

Coming off of the Bucknell Tune-Up meet and the Big Apple Invitational in Staten Island, New York, the Mountain Hawks had already faced conference opponents heading into the tournament.

When asked about how the team felt entering the championships, first-year thrower Joe Nowakowski gave a vote of confidence. He said he believed there was potential for solid performances from both teams.

“The mentality is that the sky is the limit at that point,” Nowakowski said. “What you can expect is a lot of outstanding performances from some of our younger athletes.”

Standout first-year pole vaulter Laura Reigle, who recently broke the Lehigh record, continued to improve on her previous marks by finishing first place in her event.

Not only did Reigle’s record-breaking 4.05 meter jump win gold, but it also set the Patriot League record, the Lehigh record and the Annapolis facility record for women’s pole vault. 

Reigle attributed her success to the hard work and support from her teammates.

“Everybody really came together as a team at Patriots this year, and it got everybody hyped up,” Reigle said. “Being able to do so well at this meet shows how hard we’ve been working this season.”

First-year middle distance runner Abby Klebe also turned in an eight point performance with a second-place finish in the 800-meter run.

In addition to Reigle and Klebe, who were at their first Patriot League Championship, more experienced athletes on the women’s team contributed medals of their own.

Junior sprinter Ashley Struck broke two school records at the meet. Her times on the 200-meter and 400-meter dash broke the previous Lehigh records set in 2012 and 2014 and qualified her for the finals in both events. She later followed up these times with a third-place finish in the 400-meter finals.

The women’s 4×800 relay team, consisting of first-years Lucy Afanasewicz and Abby Klebe, sophomore Lauryn Heskin, and junior Simone Davey, clinched the silver medal, finishing behind Navy. 

The distance medley team, consisting of seniors Elena Perez-Segnini and Andrea Miller, sophomore Lillian Mauger, and junior Simone Davey, had the same result, finishing in second.

The women’s team’s fifth-place finish saw them score 60.5 points, finishing behind Bucknell, Army, Boston and Navy.

On the men’s side, the team’s senior athletes turned out medal-winning performances, with two making the podium.

Senior jumper Ian Scott won the gold medal in the triple jump, jumping 14.86 meters. 

Scott finished second place last year and third place at the Outdoor Championship last year. He said he was “hungry” for first place. 

This is Scott’s second straight meet winning his event — the first being at the Bucknell Tune-Up.

When asked about his performance, he attributed his success to his persistent training.

“I’ve been working really hard on the track (and) off the track,” Scott said. “It really means a lot to me.”

Senior sprinter Kerem Ayhan also medaled in the 800-meter run. Ayhan, Lehigh’s record holder in the 1000-meter race, held off the third- and fourth-place runners to finish with a silver medal.

The men’s team finished fourth overall with a combined 61 points, trailing behind Army, Boston and Navy.

Both teams now  prepare for the outdoor season. Their first official meet is the Penn Challenge on March 18.

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