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Muhlenberg College

Friday, October 9, 2009

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mule athletes go the distance

Muhlenberg athletes go to great lengths to be productive members not just of their teams, but also of the community.

Nobody has gone to greater lengths than Men’s lacrosse team at marathon the men’s lacrosse team. On Sept. 13, six Mule players and two coaches teamed up with a pair of professors to participate in the Lehigh Valley Health Network marathon for Via, a non-profit human service agency that provides services for children and adults with disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. Proceeds from the event benefit Via’s Community Connections program, helping individuals with disabilities live and connect in the neighborhoods where they live through recreational and volunteer activities.

Muhlenberg ran the 26.2-mile marathon as two relay teams. The first team was comprised of head coach Chris Bissinger, senior Ari Jacobson, Dr. George Benjamin (math department), junior Tom Brant and senior Al Carpetto. The second team consisted of assistant coach Kyle Hart, Dr. Chris Borick (politcial science department), senior Will Garrity, sophomore Clint Watkins and senior Matthew Schroeder. The legs varied from 3.6 to 6.5 miles.

The Muhlenberg athletic department paid the entrance fee for both teams, who ran in the College Cup Challenge, a competition between schools in the Lehigh Valley. Out of 201 relay teams, Bissinger’s team finished 63rd in 3:40.34, and Hart’s came in 66th with a time of 3:41.28.

The Muhlenberg field hockey team also pounded the pavement, participating in Field hockey team at VisionWalk last Saturday’s Philadelphia VisionWalk to raise funds for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, which seeks to find a cure for retinal degenerative diseases.

The Mules walked with The Helping Hounds, one of 44 teams at the event. The sister of one of the Muhlenberg players, who is a current student at Moravian, is suffering from a retinal disease.

Although there was rain in the forecast, the weather cooperated and more than 600 walkers combined to raise more than $160,000. The Helping Hounds contributed $2,400 to that total.

“It was a cause that any of us would support,” said senior Tara Cohn, “but to do it for the family of a team member was awesome. When her mom came over to thank us, you could see the tears in her eyes. It was amazing to see how much it meant to her.”

And how about walking with student-athletes from Moravian, who usually are among the Mules’ biggest rivals? “That day, we were all on the same team,” said Cohn.

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