Season Preview: WXC returns a plethora of runners to a team looking to make noise
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The 2021 cross-country season is back to normal and the Lehigh women’s cross-country team is looking forward to kicking off its season. The Mountain Hawks are going through a season in which they only competed twice in the spring for the “2020 season”. Lehigh ran an indoor 5K and a street course edition of the Patriot League Championships. This year, however, the brown-whites are returning to a normal season that starts on Friday.
“I think we have a lot of different talents on our team this year. We have girls who are strong in the middle distance and distance, kids who are very keen on leg speed, ”said head coach Debbie Utesch. “We also have a good group of grinder types. Girls who can go out and be successful on tough off-road cross-country trails. We have a really good combination of talent this year.”
Lehigh is returning over 90% of his squad from the previous season and will seek to lead Madison Zaun, Jade Sessions, Christina Yakaboski, Jamie Zamrin, Andrea Miller, Kara Bonner, Nicole Abbondendelo and Martina Sell.
“I think we have a lot of very talented pieces on this team, but right now we’re a disjointed puzzle in a box and we have to put the pieces together,” added Utesch. “We don’t really have a top 5 or a top 7. We have to establish that and put together a running package.”
The Mountain Hawks will have three new faces this year running for the Brown and White in the newbies Savanah Beavers, Maddison Hayes and Lauryn Heskin.
“We have some underrated talent in first grade. Some of their successes have been hidden because of COVID towards the end of their high school year. I expect great things from the class over the next four years.” said Utesch.
“As a team, one of our keys will be learning how to race together. I think learning how to get that racing mentality back. Learning how to respond to challenges in the middle of a competition. We haven’t been up in almost a race drove a lawn. ” We are trying to regain our cross-country leg by training on the real cross-country racing surfaces, ”concluded Utesch.
The Lehigh women’s cross-country skiing schedule is filled to the brim with numerous competition dates this fall. This Friday, September 3rd, the Mountain Hawks are hosting the Lehigh Invitational at the Goodman Campus Cross Country Course. Lehigh then has two weeks off after that weekend to rest and regroup before heading to Easton on September 18 for the annual Lehigh-Lafayette double meeting.
The Paul Short Run is back !! The 47th Lehigh Paul Short Run will take place on Friday October 1st on our campus. The Mountain Hawks will then host the Penn State National Invite (October 15) and the Lafayette Invitational (October 16) to wrap up their regular season before the postseason amps high.
The Goodman Campus Cross Country Course will host two post-season races this fall, the Patriot League Championships (October 31) and the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional (November 12).