Junior Gideon Coprinvicar competes in high jump as a part of the Heptathalon on Feb. 25 at the Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Boston University-Track & Tennis Center. Coprinvicar and first-year Andrew Clark competed in the heptathalon placing sixth and ninth, respectively (Connor Malinger/B&W Staff).

Spring season brings new ambitions for men’s track and field team


While March typically serves as the conclusion to most winter athletes’ seasons, it provides a fresh opportunity and a chance to build momentum for the Lehigh men’s track and field team.

Despite finishing sixth at the Patriot League Indoor Championships, the team will try to replicate  their recent standout performances in the outdoor season. 

The men’s team walked away from the championships with a string of new individual records across multiple events. In addition to four top-10 all-time results, the Mountain Hawks set a new school record in the 4×800-meter relay, which saw them finish fourth in the event. 

Sophomore distance runner Alex Heidemann anchored that relay, running an unofficial split of 1 minute and 49 seconds. His performance at the indoor championships also consisted of a personal record of 1:52.21 in the 800-meter, a run that places him fifth all-time in Lehigh’s record book. 

“It was something that I was very proud of,” Heidemann said. “It kind of opened my eyes to new goals for outdoor that I should be trying to run.”

This year, athletes had 19 days to recover and prepare between the indoor championships and the spring opener. 

For Heidemann, the positive results in the winter and the extra time off enabled him to enter the new season with the right mindset. 

That momentum translated positively for Heidemann, who grabbed an early personal record in the 1500-meter at the Raleigh Relays on March 30. He stressed the importance of trusting in his ability rather than worrying about the final time. 

“I think if you have a lot of confidence in your fitness the results don’t really matter that much,” Heidemann said. “It’s more the ability to kind of get out and race, be competitive, which is the most important in the earlier parts of the season.”

Junior captain Patrez Thomas also had a strong performance at the indoor championships.

In the 200-meter, the sprinter and hurdler clocked a time of 22.33, recording a new personal record and providing Lehigh with its 10th-best time ever. 

Thomas started the spring season in similar fashion, running an equally impressive 22.61 in the West Point Spring Open on March 16 to set another personal record in the outdoor 200. 

“The main thing that comes into play is just the weather and being in the elements,” Thomas said. “The weather hasn’t been the greatest, we’ve been having a lot of rain recently. But it’s kind of something that you just have to mentally adjust to because meets and races and competitions, they don’t necessarily get moved just because it’s colder.”

With the start of the outdoor season, Thomas is shifting his focus from the 200 to the 400-meter hurdles.

Thomas said that getting familiarized with outdoor events again is one of the distinctive features of the transition between seasons and he’s come to accept that doing so takes time. 

After a successful indoor season, first-year sprinter Eddie Moore is hoping to return from a recent injury soon and make noise in his first outdoor campaign.

Moore began his Lehigh track and field career on fire, vaulting into second on Lehigh’s all-time results for the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.92 at the Big Apple Invitational on Feb. 10. Earlier in the season, he established himself on the 200 all-time charts with a time of 22.31, the eighth best in program history.

In combination with being a first-year on the team, injury setbacks shortly after the Big Apple Invitational have made this stretch of the spring season about setting expectations. 

“I don’t want to hold myself to too high of a standard to the point where it just becomes a stress overload and I mentally break down and I don’t perform well,” Moore said. “So right now I’m just kind of trying to replicate what I did indoors where if I start slow I know I’ll be able to trust myself.”

Despite his respectable indoor campaign, Moore hopes that the outdoor season will better suit his style of racing. He notes that for sprinters, shorter indoor races like the 60 may favor more explosive athletes, while the outdoor 100 gives athletes with better top speeds an advantage. 

“It really depends on what kind of runner you are. Some people have better starts than others. I myself, I don’t really even start getting too fast until 40 meters so that’s more than halfway during the indoor races versus outdoor where I have more to work with,” Moore said.

The Mountain Hawks will be hoping to see more strong performances after defeating Lafayette, 111-88, on April 6. Despite the differences in weather, distances and fitness, the team looks forward to a more favorable time of the year.

“It’s just nicer to be outside,” Moore said.

The Mountain Hawks travel to Bucknell on April 12 to compete in the Bison Outdoor Classic.

Senior Ian Scott jumps triple jump, Feb. 25, at the Boston University-Track & Tennis Center. Scott came back from injury earlier in the season to place second (Connor Malinger/B&W Staff)

Junior sprinter and hurdler Patrez Thomas accelerates off the starting block during the Patriot League Indoor Championships at the the Boston University Track & Tennis Center. Thomas placed 10th in the 200-meter dash at the meet.

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