Muhlenberg cross country teams shine at challenging Paul Short Run

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The Muhlenberg cross country teams showcased their grit and determination as they took on the challenging Paul Short Run at Lehigh University this past weekend. This renowned event, one of the nation’s largest cross country meets, drew teams from 25 different states, with participants traveling from as far away as California, Utah and North Dakota. However, what made this year’s race particularly memorable was the treacherous course conditions including the mud and wet sluggishness of the terrain.

Despite the conditions, David Ludwig ‘26 prevailed. Ludwig, with determination, clocked in a personal best time of 27:50. His remarkable performance included shaving an impressive 54 seconds off his previous record at Lehigh’s course. In a career-defining moment, Ludwig crossed the finish line as the first Mule, securing an exciting milestone in his collegiate running journey.

Adding to the excitement, Raam Ravishankar ‘27 continued his impressive rookie streak by consistently ranking among Muhlenberg’s top performers. The dynamic trio of Mason Tran ‘25, Matthew Hajel ‘26 and David Seel ‘27 rounded out the top five for the men’s team, solidifying Muhlenberg’s presence in the race.

The women’s team dually showcased their standout talents. Captain Caiti Kinnear ‘24 led the way once again, marking her fourth consecutive meet as the top performer for the Mules. Kinnear’s consistency has been a source of inspiration for her teammates throughout the season. Matching her efforts, Maggie Holderith ‘27, Captain Lauren House ‘25, Hadley DeVarennes ‘25 and Ellen Maguire ‘25, completed the Mules’ formidable top five.

Kinnear states, “Our team has been practicing since the summer to get ready for races like this one. We’ve been practicing six days a week for preparation, including some track workouts, long runs and additional training like core and med balls.” With preparation they aim to improve individual personal records (PRs) in upcoming races, as well as place higher in their conference meet previous to last year.

The Muhlenberg cross country teams’ performance at the Paul Short Run is a testament to their dedication, resilience and unwavering commitment to the sport. Despite the challenging course conditions and fierce competition from across the nation, these athletes have once again proven that they are a force to be reckoned with in the world of collegiate cross country. 

Come to the next cross country meet at Rowan University on Oct. 14, and see for yourself what the cross country Mules can accomplish. 

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