TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – To say Saturday was an exciting day was an understatement, as University of Pennsylvania junior Thomas Awad finished 27th at the NCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country Championships Saturday afternoon at the LaVern Gibson Championships Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center.
Awad clocked 30:46.3 over the 10,000-meter course andwas awarded All-American honors for his finish in the pack of 245 runners. Heis the first Quaker to earnAll-American at the Cross Country Championships since Dusty Lieb placed 26th in 2002 with a time of 30:21.5.
“Receiving All-American honors was really special for me, since I’ve been working toward this all season," said Awad. "Winning Heps and qualifying for NCAAs is nice, but I would not have viewed this season as successful if I had not gotten All-American today.”
After first clocking in at 151st place at the 3,000-meter mark, Awad steadily made his way to the front of the pack. He moved up to 66th by the 5,000-meter mark andmoved all the way up to 18th at the8K markbefore his final standing.
While Awad was in Terre Haute making Penn history, members of the men’s and women’s cross country and track & field teams cheered their fellow Quaker on in the Dunning Coaches Center, in the Steven J. Bilsky Directors' Room.
“It’s really exciting to know that everyone was at Dunning watching," Awad said. "I didn’t see the picture of everyone until after my race, so I’m just happy I can represent Penn and my team well and make them proud. The team has a lot of trust in me to get the job done, so it’s reassuring that everyone believes in me.”
The cross country season is officially over, but the indoor track & field season will pick up on Saturday, Dec. 6 when the teams travel to Bethlehem for the Lehigh Invitational.
Download: MensResults NCAA XC.pdf