LEHIGH, Pa. - Ryan Bell led the way for Franklin & Marshall with a seventh-place finish at the Paul Short Run hosted by Lehigh University Friday afternoon. Bell covered the eight-kilometer course in 26:17 crossing the line just over a minute and half behind meet champion Shawn Andrea (25:39) from Philadelphia University.
The Diplomats placed 13th as a team, 18 spots higher than last year, while the University of Mary Washington came in first in the 29-team event.
"The program is heading in the right direction. We are by far a better team this year" said F&M coach John Stoudt. "This race was a good measuring stick for our team."
The Diplomats showed a glimpse of their bright future with three freshmen and two juniors rounding out their top five finishers.
Stoudt credits his freshmen class for the improvement the team has accomplished in 2009.
"The change has a lot to do with our incoming freshmen class and the energy they brought this year."
Bell improved 18 spots from his 25th place finish last year. He finished 122nd as a freshmen and is proving to be the top runner on the team.
"Ryan is good and his improvements have a lot to do with his dedication and hard work ethic," Stoudt says of Bell.
Greg Duckloe (27:26) finished 57th, out of 245 runners. Angelo Arce was not far behind coming in at 27:42, placing 72nd. Erik Olsen and Josh Wesalo crossed the line four runners apart as Olsen placed 99th (28:19). Wesalo (28:23) rounded out the Diplomat top five coming in 103rd place.
The Diplomats return to the course October 10th when they host the Friends of Sarah Run.
13. Franklin and Marshall
621 7 Ryan Bell, Jr 26:17 5:18
626 57 Greg Duckloe, Fr 27:26 5:32
620 72 Angelo Arce, Fr 27:42 5:35
630 99 Erik Olsen, Jr 28:19 5:43
635 103 Josh Wesalo, Fr 28:23 5:43
Total Time = 2:18:05 Total Places = 338