SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Entering in a field of regionally ranked teams, the University of Pennsylvania men’s and women’s cross country teams contended in the first big race of the season in the Notre Dame Invitational Friday evening. Junior captain Thomas Awad placed fourth overall and led the men to a 15th place finish. Sophomore Ashley Montgomery was first to cross the finish line for the women, as they went on to place 18th.
The women laced up their shoes first, running in a 5k against 20 other teams across the country. Montgomery finished 55th in 17:10.8, with junior captain Amy Darlington not far behind as she finished in 17:14.6. Junior Elyssa Gensib was the third member of the Red and Blue to cross, finishing in 17:17.0. Sophomore Clarissa Whiting and freshman Abby Hong rounded out the top five Penn finishers, crossing at 17:40.8 and 17:44.1, respectively. Freshman Kylene Cochrane and junior Gabrielle Cuccia also ran for the Quakers, completing the course in 17:45.1 and 17:56.4, respectively.
The men competed on a five-mile course and contended with 24 other teams. Awad made his way to the front of the pack and finished fourth overall in 23:26.7, only 11 seconds after first place finisher Mason Ferlic of Michigan. Sophomore Brendan Shearn was the second Quaker to make his way across the line, scoring 62 points with his time of 24:18.9. Fellow sophomores Nick Tuck and Lyle Wistar also contributed to the team points, completing the race in 24:33.9 and 24:38.1, respectively. In his first major collegiate competition, freshman Ross Wilson was the fifth member of the Penn team to finish and crossed at 24:46.6. Seniors John Trueman and Conner Paez came in next for the Red and Blue at 25:06.7 and 25:12.3, respectively, while juniors Wiliam Meadows and Clark Shurtleff were the finals members to cross, in 25:25.1 and 26:06.8 respectively.
On Saturday, the rest of the men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Bethlehem to compete in one of the largest cross country meets across the nation, the Paul Short Run.
In the Men’s Open Race, senior Victor Allen came across the line at 26:03, Junior Kirk Webb and freshman Tommy Mulroy also competed in the event, completing the race in 25:32 and 26:49, respectively.
Out of 42 teams, Penn placed 29 in the Men’s Gold Race with junior Brendan Smith leading the way. Smith scored 70 team points with his time of 24:57. The next member of the Red and Blue to finish the race was sophomore Chris Hatler, who finished at 25:22. Freshman Thomas Connelly finished 11 seconds later at 25:33, while fellow freshmen Chris Luciano and Patrick Hally recorded times of 25:59 and 26:01, respectively. Sophomore Jack Huemmler and junior Keaton Naff also participated in the race, finishing at 26:07 and 27:15.
Only four women competed in the Women’s Brown Race so no team score was given to Penn. Three of the four runners crossed the finish line within 11 seconds of each other. Freshman Hailey Dougherty was the first Quaker in at 22:30. Junior Shannon McCarthy was next at 22:38, and freshman Sophie DeBode finished in 22:41. Freshman Brianna Bradley rounded out the Red and Blue squad, completing the course in 23:26.
Next up for the Quakers in the Princeton Invitational, set for Oct. 18 at 10 a.m.