Cross Country Places First at Big 5 Invitational

PHILADELPHIA – In the first race of the 2014 season, the University of Pennsylvania cross country teams came out running strong. The men and women competed in the Big 5 Invitational at the Belmont Plateau in West Fairmount Park and took first place with 15 team points.

“I was very pleased with how our teams competed in the season opener today,” said head coach Steve Dolan. “Both the men and the women executed our team racing plan perfectly.”

Both the men and the women took the top five positions in each race.

The women opened the day’s event, running a 4K. Freshman Abby Hong and junior Elyssa Gensib placed first and second, respectively, at 14:21.5. Junior captain Amy Darlington was right behind at 14:21.6. Rounding out the top five was sophomore Ashley Montgomery (14:25.0) and junior Gabby Cuccia (14:25.6).

After the completion of the women’s race, the men set themselves for their 6K.

The top five Quakers crossed the line within three tenths of each other. First was senior Conner Paez, who finished at 18:40.6. Sophomore Brendan Shearn, sophomore Nick Tuck, and junior captain Thomas Awad took second, third, and fourth, respectively, at 18:40.8. Sophomore Lyle Wistar was right behind and the fifth Quaker to cross the line at 18:40.9.

Penn will continue to execute its plan as the teams train for the next race – the Mainline Invitational – and the rest of the season.

“The commitment and hard work over the summer was evident by the fitness the group displayed today,” said Dolan. “I know everyone is looking forward to the journey ahead.”

Women Team Standings

1. Penn, 15 points

2. La Salle, 51 points

3. Saint Joseph’s, 82 points

4. Temple, 99 points

Men Team Standings

1. Penn, 15 points

2. La Salle, 55 points

3. Temple, 97 points

4. Villanova, 107 points

5. Saint Joseph’s, 114 points

Download: 2014 Big 5 Invite.pdf