PHILADELPHIA - The men's cross country team heads to Penn State for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional on Friday for a 10k race beginning at 1:15 p.m. The Quakers, ranked No. 12 in the regional rankings, look to outkick 27 other schools which include two schools - Princeton and Georgetown - ranked in the national top 30. The other four Big 5 institutions will also be competing in the event.
Leading the pack into the regional will be the freshman trio of Brendan Smith, Brandon Clark and Thomas Awad. That particular group of three has scored in three of Penn's four official races this fall, with Awad finishing just outside the top five at the Leopard Invitational in October. At the Heptagonal Championships, Smith was the top Quaker finisher for the fourth consecutive race with Awad coming in second on the team. All three broke the 25-minute barrier on the five mile course at Princeton and finished in the top 40.
Penn won't be heading upstate without some experience. Four seniors - captains George Dickson and Kevin Foy, as well as John Foye and Mike Kiley - will make the trek to Penn State where they all have competed before. At last season's Penn State National Invitational, Kiley and Dickson were Penn's top two finishers.The Mid-Atlantic Regional is one of nine races happening across the country that will help determine the field for the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 19. The top two finishers in each region will qualify automatically for the race, with 13 at-large bids to be awarded based on season performance to date.