Lehigh Claims 17th Consecutive Victory Over Lafayette

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s cross country team extended its winning streak over Lafayette on Friday night. With six Mountain Hawks finishing in the top ten, Lehigh defeated Lafayette 23-34 to secure its 17th consecutive victory.

“It was a little bit unnerving going into the race because we knew that we had, well it’s the fourth week of school for Lehigh and everyone’s sick and that does not exclude people on our team,” said head coach Deb Utesch. “We knew we had people who were not at 100 percent health. We knew that Lafayette had a good solid team and some front runners who were going to challenge us.

“We had a plan and I think we executed it very well. In the end it was a full team effort that really got it done and it was great to see some of our people step up in the top five and top seven and bring home another ‘W’ and keep the streak going.”

Senior Maddie Zaun led the Mountain Hawks to victory. Zaun finished second overall and first for Lehigh with a time of 22:19.20. Following Zaun was first-year Lucy Afanasewicz. Afanasewicz finished third overall and second for Lehigh with a time of 22:22.10.

“For me as a senior, just to come and cap off the four years winning, we had to get one more and it feels really good to keep the rivalry going and keep the streak going,” said Zaun. “For the first years, especially for Lucy, coming in and being one of our frontrunners, it’s good for her to be a leader, get that experience early and to keep the streak going even more for the next four years.”

Lafayette’s Rachel Hurley finished fourth overall but the Mountain Hawks claimed fifth through seventh place to secure the victory at Goodman Campus Cross Country Course. Senior Andrea Miller was the third finisher for Lehigh. She finished fifth overall with a time of 22:34.40.

Sophomore Savanah Beavers and senior Annalize Davis followed behind Miller, finishing sixth and seventh, respectively. Beavers ran Friday’s 6k in 22:37.60 while Davis finished in 22:41.20.

“The seniors missed that COVID year so they have that one blip on the perfect record but despite the meet that didn’t happen, they were able to have a perfect performance in their career so far in cross country but they are not done yet, “Utesch said. “They still have an indoor meet and an outdoor meet that they have to go help contribute to so the seniors on the track and field program can also experience that.”

The Leopards took the eight and ninth-place spots but Lehigh had six Mountain Hawks finish from tenth to 15th-place.

Lehigh will take a week off to prepare for the much-anticipated Paul Short Run on Friday, Sept. 30. The 47th annual event will take place on the Goodman Campus Cross Country Course with the first meet of the day starting at 9:30 am

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