2016 Ivy League Heps XC Championships Set for Saturday

Championship Info: Meet Homepage | Twitter

Date: Saturday, Oct. 29 – Ivy League Heptagonal Cross Country Championships
Site: West Windsor Fields, Princeton, N.J.
Schedule: Women’s 6k (11 a.m.)
         Men’s 8k (Noon)
         Awards Ceremony (1 p.m.)

PHILADELPHIA, PA. – Postseason racing has finally arrived and the University of Pennsylvania cross country teams are set to run at the 2016 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Saturday, Oct. 29 in Princeton, N.J.

The women’s 6k kicks off the day of activity at West Windsor Fields beginning at 11 a.m. while the men will take to the starting boxes shortly thereafter starting at noon. Saturday’s championships mark the 77th running of the Ivy Heps on the men’s side and the 39th edition of the event for the women.

The Fields…
Both the men’s and women’s Ivy fields feature some of the best teams in their respective regions. Every squad in action on Saturday is currently ranked 12th or better in their region according to the latest USTFCCCA polls.

In addition to the regional prominence, Yale (No. 21) and Harvard (No. 26) are the second and third nationally-ranked teams in the women’s field (joining Penn, No. 24) -- while the Quakers (receiving votes) are the top ranked team on the men’s side.

Last Season’s Heps...
The Quakers men put together a second-place finish in 2015 while the women finished fifth. Thomas Awad was the story, however, becoming the first back-to-back men’s winner since 1977. The Red and Blue return the scoring members of Brendan Shearn, Nick Tuck and Ross Wilson from last season while Shearn and Tuck look to improve upon their Second-Team All-Ivy performances from a year ago.

Ashley Montgomery is the top returning runner for the Penn women and finished last year in 5th place with a time of 21:19.9. That time marked the fastest 6k at the championship in Quaker history. In addition to Montgomery, Cleo and Clarissa Whiting, Isabel Griffith and Abby Hong were the scoring members for the Quaker women in 2015 while Cleo Whiting and Montgomery were All-Ivy selections.

Princeton snagged the team title on the women’s side last season, while Columbia claimed the men’s crown.

HEPS NOTEBOOK: Ashley Montgomery owns the top time in Penn history in a 6k Heps Championship set last year when she finished in 21:19.9…The Penn men’s team has claimed the individual championship on seven separate occasions, most recently in 2014 and 2015 when Thomas Awad led the Red and Blue during his junior and senior seasons.

*The Red and Blue continue to be ranked amongst the best in both the region and nation in the latest USTFCCCA polls. The women clock in at No. 3 in the Mid-Atlantic region and No. 24 nationally, while the men register at No. 2 in the Mid-Atlantic.

*Senior Ashley Montgomery has had an impressive start to 2016 where she’s been the individual winner of both the Big 5 and Main Line Invites. Montgomery followed those performances with a second place effort at the Paul Short Run and a 13th place finish at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational.  

*The top-5 for the Penn women have been remarkably consistent to start the season with all five scoring members remaining the same at each meet: Ashley Montgomery, Cleo Whiting, Clarissa Whiting, Erin Feeney and Abby Hong lead the way for the Red and Blue.

*Montgomery comes back to lead the Quaker women following an individual NCAA qualification last year for cross country. Alongside the 2015 First-Team All-Ivy honoree, the women welcome back all five of their scoring members.

*On the men’s side, Nick Tuck, Brendan Shearn and Patrick Hally have led the way for the Red and Blue, finishing in the top-3 at the Big 5 Invite and Paul Short Run. Tuck and Shearn have been the top finishers for the Quaker men all season.  

*The Penn men placed second at last year’s NCAA Regional meet to earn an automatic qualification to the NCAA Championship, while the women placed sixth overall at the Mid-Atlantic regional.

*The Penn men return a seasoned group of upperclassmen from a team that made their first NCAA Championship appearance since 1975 last year, including five of the top-7 from the NCAA Championship meet.

*Isabel Griffith and Brendan Shearn have been tabbed as the 2016 cross country captains.