Cohen Manges ’27, from Mechanicsburg, PA, dominated at Lehigh University’s Paul Short Run last Saturday. The cross country first-year took ninth place in the White Race, Lehigh’s competition for Division III teams, clocking a time of 26:06.7 on the 8-kilometer course. Manges’s impressive finish led the Garnet to third place overall, their best placement at the meet since 2018. Swarthmore only placed behind Trinity University and Marywood University, topping all other Centennial Conference competition. The Garnet is back in action on Oct. 14 at Rowan University’s Border Battle, an opportunity to preview this year’s NCAA Regional Championship course.
Sophia Vesely: Can you tell us about the team’s third-place finish this weekend?
Cohen Manges: Paul Short has three tiers of competition, White, Brown, and Gold, with White being the smaller Division III schools and Gold being the larger Division I and Division II schools. It was extremely muddy from the rain during the week, leading to some turns that tried their best to steal your spikes and ruin your socks. Overall, though, we had a good showing in the White race, but compared to our competition in the Brown race, we left something on the table. I am proud of our guys nonetheless, and I’m excited to see what we can do when we get to race some of the teams in the Brown race head-to-head.
SV: How did it feel to finish in ninth place?
CM: It was a nice feeling to place that well, but looking at my performance in the context of the other two men’s races, I know I still have a lot of room for improvement.
SV: What are some of the team’s goals for the season?
CM: Ultimately, our goal is to qualify for the national championship, but that’s a large ask for such a young team. In light of our youth, we’ve been focusing on team culture and developing a positive, encouraging environment for both training and life. The upperclassmen have been doing a great job making the team a welcoming community and encouraging our younger runners. I really appreciate their leadership.
SV: What are some of your personal goals for the season?
CM: I’m just here to have fun. I’m naturally competitive, so I’ll put forward my best effort for every race and workout, but at the end of the day, I want to enjoy what I’m doing. I’d enjoy going to nationals, but I won’t be heartbroken if I don’t. Maybe next year I’ll have more concrete goals, but for now, I’m content just enjoying the ride.
SV: Which meet are you looking forward to most this season, and why?
CM: I’m excited for the Metro Regionals because it’ll be the ultimate test of our team’s fitness. I have a lot of confidence in our team and their capabilities. We just need to get to a point in our training that we’re able to show it off.
SV: Do you have any pre- or post-meet rituals?
CM: The men’s team becomes quite the chorus in the showers. Shout out to Colin DeLaney ’25 for his vocal ability.
SV: Why did you choose Swarthmore, and what are you studying?
CM: I chose Swarthmore because of the stunning campus and the accessibility to research positions as an undergraduate. I’ve long been fascinated by the complexities of living organisms, so getting to work in a real biology lab would be a surreal experience. I intend to major in biology, but I’m dabbling in some other STEM fields (computer science is a little too interesting not to explore further).
SV: What is your favorite Dining Center bar?
CM: I prefer World of Flavor because its menu is consistently the least consistent in the most delightful way. I prefer some variety in my diet, and World of Flavor can deliver.