Northwestern Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY BOB FORDNorthwestern’s Robert Leiser took second place overall at Tuesday’s meet. PRESS PHOTO BY BOB FORDNorthwestern’s Robert Leiser took second place overall at Tuesday’s meet.
PRESS PHOTO BY BOB FORDMadeline Consuelos took first place in the girls race at Tuesday’s meet. PRESS PHOTO BY BOB FORDMadeline Consuelos took first place in the girls race at Tuesday’s meet.

Consuelos takes first for Lady Tigers

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 by Patrick Matsinko pmatsinko@tnonline.com in Sports

Losing isn’t something the Northwestern girls’ cross country team has been forced to deal with in recent years.

The Lady Tigers entered the 2016 season having won 129 consecutive dual meets in Colonial League competition, a run that started in 2010.

That streak was snapped on Sept. 13 by Southern Lehigh.

Northwestern suffered its second loss of the season Tuesday – again at the hands of the Lady Spartans.

While Southern Lehigh swept Tuesday’s Colonial League meet to move to 21-0, it was Northwestern sophomore Madeline Consuelos that won the race.

Consuelos topped the field with a time of 20:18.35 as the Lady Tigers went 2-1.

Knowing the winning streak was over, Consuelos was at ease heading into the team’s second meeting with Southern Lehigh.

“We were all kind of relaxed,” Consuelos said. “We weren’t as uptight as we were the last time we saw them because we had nothing to lose; we were just running for the meet.

“Our mindset was that if we win, we win. If not, it’s not that big of a deal.”

After edging Northwestern 27-28 in September, the Lady Spartans had more separation in the rematch, winning 24-33.

With finishes of 2-4-5-6-7-9, Southern Lehigh’s grouping was just too much for the Lady Tigers to overcome.

“Hats off to Southern Lehigh. They ran well,” said Northwestern head coach Chris Stitzel. “And they run well as a group. It’s tough to beat that group. Hopefully we can figure it out in the next couple of weeks.”

The Tigers’ Molly Tarvin was able to breakup the Southern Lehigh pack with a third-place finish (20:39.78).

“We knew Southern Lehigh definitely posed a challenge for us,” said Tarvin. “They’re so deep and have so many good runners. We wanted to win this and we tried our best but it was just out of our reach.”

The Lady Tigers defeated Catasauqua (15-50) and Salisbury (15-50) to move to 18-2 this season.

As Southern Lehigh’s girls were celebrating keeping alive an undefeated season, so too was the boys’ team. The Spartans (21-0) took four of the top five spots in the boys’ race en route to a 3-0 day.

Robert Leiser was the top Northwestern (16-4) boy, taking second with a time of 17:05.84.

Like the girls, the Tigers defeated Catasauqua (15-50) and Salisbury (18-43) but fell to Southern Lehigh (20-41).

“I thought the guys stepped up pretty well today,” Stitzel said. “I’m really happy with how they’re running right now.”

The two losses for the Northwestern girls are the team’s most in a season since 2010, when the Lady Tigers went 22-4.