Learning experience at Lehigh

Cross country team deals with different race distances and larger crowds in Pennsylvannia last weekend

Over 350 people raced in Lehigh University's Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pa. last weekend.
Over 350 people raced in Lehigh University's Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pa. last weekend.
Credit: 
Supplied by Lehigh Athletics/Erin Iwaskiewicz

The cross country team faced more runners and different distances in American competition at Lehigh University’s Paul Short Run last weekend in Bethlehem, Pa.

While Ontario competition is usually a 10-kilometre men’s run and a five-kilometre women’s run, the Lehigh race was eight kilometres for men and six for women.

“Usually we save enough energy for the last kilometre and then just do it,” said Stephanie Hulse, who finished 49th to lead the Queen’s women to a 12th-place overall finish.

“This time there was another kilometre left and it was a bit harder to stretch our energy.”

Clay Patterson was the fastest runner for the 10th-place men’s team, finishing 28th overall.

“It was a different environment and a completely different way of racing down there,” Hulse said. “It was a bigger field of runners and everyone was really intense … it was a great experience just to be running.”

There were 382 runners in the men’s event at Lehigh and 386 in the women’s race. The Queen’s men’s team captain Oliver Hatheway said the Gaels prepared themselves for the larger crowd.

“Our main goal going in was to practice handling ourselves in a bigger pack and dealing with the excitement of bigger crowds,” he said. “For the most part we were able to take away what we wanted.”

Saturday’s race was the third-straight weekend the men’s team didn’t use their top-tiered runners. Jeff Costen and Jeff Archer returned from injury, but didn’t run with the Gaels’ best team. Hatheway said the absences put an asterisk on the eighth-place finish at Lehigh.

“We haven’t fielded our A squad, so we’re looking at a more focused level, at how individual races went,” he said.

Patterson’s finish means the men’s team has had a different top performer in each of the past three races.

“We’re thinking we have three or four guys that can go out on any given day and win for our team,” Hatheway said. ‘We know we can count on those guys.”

The cross country team will compete in the Guelph Open on Oct. 15.

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