PHILADELPHIA - The men's cross country team hopes to build off a solid opening race against La Salle when they travel to New York City on Saturday for the Iona Meet of Champions, held in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Last year, Penn placed seventh out of 19 teams with all five scorers wrapping up within 31 seconds of each other. Two returners, seniors Kevin Foy and Mike Kiley, were among those five while George Dicksonfinished less than two seconds out of scoring position.
Following last Friday's meet with La Salle at Wissahickon Park, Penn has moved up two spots in the Mid-Atlantic Region to No. 11. The Quakers looked good on the 6K course, but will have to deal with an 8K course in this race and will be competing against a number of teams expected to make an impact on both the national and regional level, including No. 8 Iona and No. 28 Columbia, as well as Brown (No. 7 in the Northeast Region), Boston College (No. 11 in the Northeast) and Kent State (No. 14 in the Great Lakes).
While the upperclassmen will be expected to show the way throughout the year, Penn's freshmen class has already had an immediate impact for Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Steve Dolan. Three of Penn's top four finishers last week were competing in their first-ever collegiate race and that group finished within three seconds of each other. Such an effort will be necessary again for the Quakers to top the leaderboard on Saturday.
Penn will have next week off from competition, returning to the trail on Sept. 28 for the 38th annual Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh.