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PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women's cross country team will have a golden opportunity to claim the overall team title this weekend at the Leopard Invitational from the campus of Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. Saturday morning's race will get started at 10 a.m.

Ranked ninth in the latest Mid-Atlantic Region poll, Penn is the only Division I team among Saturday's competition to be ranked inside the top 15 in their respective regions. Two schools - Muhlenberg and The College of New Jersey - are in the top ten in their regions of Division III. Of the 13 schools that the Quakers are up against, they'll likely receive the biggest challenge from a trio of Patriot League schools in American, Colgate and the hometown Leopards. Others that could contend are Pitt, Seton Hall and Temple.

Last time out, Penn finished among the top half of a loaded field at the Paul Short Invitational. Leslie Kovach led the pack for the Quakers, finishing 56th overall in a time of 21:28, with Kersie Jhabvala (21:44) not far behind in 66th position. Out of 40 schools in the race, the Red and Blue placed 16th as a team.

After Saturday, Penn gets into the heart of its season. Ivy League Heptagonals take place on Oct. 27 at Princeton's West Windsor Fields. The team will then take part in an NCAA Regional, held in State College, Pa.

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