Lehigh Concludes Second Meet With Strong Performances

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BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Competing in its second competition of the season, the Lehigh men’s track and field team hosted the annual Angry Birds Challenge at Rauch Fieldhouse on Saturday. The Mountain Hawks finished with 119.5 points behind Monmouth and Binghamton, who finished first and second respectively.

The Mountain Hawks had 12 student-athletes who set personal records, though a significant number of student-athletes were absent due to health and safety protocols.

“Every team is struggling with COVID,” said assistant coach Brooke Astor. “Each team will be competing in the same championship at the end of the season, so we have to adapt. It’s all about who shows up and who adapts best.”

Lehigh’s distance group had a great success on Saturday. Senior Seth Slavin finished first in the 5000m in 15:18.71. Seniors Nick Wilson (15:29.79) and Avery Lederer (15:32.28) were right behind Slavin, finishing third and fourth in the 5000m.

“In the 5K we had our experienced guys. Seth won and Avery and Nick got off to a great start so we’re going to line those guys up for the rest of the year and the longer events,” said assistant coach Todd Etters. “We’re in a good position, we need to keep working hard and keep improving, but it’s nice to see they’re in a good competitive position and the times will come down as we move forward.”

The Mountain Hawks were able to gain experience and success with the throws on Saturday. First-grader Liam Lovering set a new personal best by finishing fourth in the shot put (14.43m). Junior Quinn Conlan scored points for Lehigh in the weight throw, where he finished third with a personal record of 15.07 m.

“Liam Lovering’s performance was probably the highlight of the day for the men’s team. That’s a huge PR for him and a great mark for a first year starting the season,” said assistant coach Allison Taub. “When it comes to the weight throw, Quinn finished third with a tremendous PR to end his season and Achilles finished sixth and connected his PR. He’s starting to become consistent over the 14 meter mark.”

Year one Jonathan Bennett added two strong performances in the sprints. Bennett was second in the 60m hurdles (8.30) and fourth in the 60m (7.16). Senior Michael Nardelli was fourth in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.56.

“A great sprint day for everyone who was there,” said assistant trainer Khayla Atte. “We’ve been dealing with health and safety protocols and family stuff and injuries over the holidays so I’d say for who we had it’s been solid.”

In the long jump, first graders Mulenga Malama (6.48 m), Jordan Layos (6.46 m) and Jalen Blango (6.18 m) were successful on Saturday. The trio achieved a new personal record with places six, seven and eight. Junior Louis Logsdail scored for Lehigh with his third place in the pole vault (4.40 m).

Lehigh was third overall with 119.5 points. Monmouth led with 185.5 points, followed by Binghamton with 134 and Sacred Heart in fourth place with 77.

Some of the Mountain Hawks will return to Rauch Fieldhouse for the Moravian-hosted John Covert Classic on January 22, while others will travel to the Villanova Open in Staten Island, NY

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