INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Committee announced the team and individual qualifiers today for the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships. The University of Pennsylvania cross country teams received two individual bids and will be represented in Terre Haute, Ind. by sophomore Thomas Awad and freshman Cleo Whiting.
At regionals, the men placed fourth and ran an average time of 30:50, which was their best showing this season. No. 20 Villanova finished first, averaging 29:57, and took the top two spots of the race. Georgetown and Penn State finished in the third and fourth slots, followed by a runner from Penn and No. 15 Princeton.
Awad placed fifth overall with a time of 29:49 and was the first Ivy to cross the finish line. The last Quaker to represent Penn cross country at nationals, which was back in 2005, was Courtney Jaworski.
Competing with nationally ranked teams – Villanova, Georgetown, Penn State, West Virginia, and Ivy rival Princeton -- the women also had their best performance of the season, placing sixth and averaging a time of 21:12. Penn finished 46 points behind the Tigers, with the top five runners all within the top 50. Whiting crossed the line first for the Quakers and 23rd overall at 20:50.
The 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships will take place on Saturday at Terre Haute, Ind.
The top two teams in each region automatically compete at the NCAA D-I Championships. The remaining 13 at-large bids are then determine through a selection process of reviewing all competition results. Once all teams have been determined, 38 additional individuals per gender are selected to compete. Of the teams that were not selected, the top four finishers are automatically selected, as long as they have finished within the region’s top 25. Two additional athletes, who have finished in the regional top 25, will be selected from the remainder of the national pool as at-large individuals.