NEW ORLEANS – Following this past weekend’s NCAA regional championships meets, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association recognized the Division I All-Region honorees on Monday. Among the 450 student-athletes that earned the distinction were the University of Pennsylvania’s Thomas Awad, Brendan Smith, and Cleo Whiting. The three cross country runners finished within the top 25 at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships held at Lehigh’s Goodman Course, on Saturday.
Awad, a sophomore, placed fifth overall in the men’s 10K at regionals and was the first Ivy to cross the finish line. With his time of 29:49, Awad secured a spot at nationals and is the first Quaker since Courtney Jaworski, in 2005, to represent Penn at the cross country nationals.
Smith, also a sophomore, was next to cross the line for the Red and Blue at 30:41 and finished 24 overall. Of the five races Smith has competed in this season, he has finished in the top three for Penn -- first at Mainline; second at Friend Big 5, Heps, Regionals; Third at Paul Short.
In the women’s 6K, Whiting, a freshman, was the first Quaker to cross the line and placed 23 overall at 20:50. She earned a bid to nationals for being the third highest runner not on the teams who received bids. Whiting will be the first freshman in program history to represent Penn in Terre Haute, Ind.