NEW ORLEANS - Just a day following their impressive regional rankings, the University of Pennsylvania cross country teams have been selected amongst the best in the country in the national United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason polls as announced on Tuesday, August 30th.
The Quaker women clock in at No. 24 while the men have registered as the 28th best team in the NCAA in the first iteration of the weekly rankings. The announcement comes just a day after the USTFCCCA released their regional polls where the Red and Blue were both ranked in the top-3 in the Mid-Atlantic.
The Quaker men clocked in as the No. 2 team in the Mid-Atlantic region following their first NCAA Championship appearance since 1975 just a year ago. They return a seasoned group of upperclassmen including five of the top-7 from the NCAA Championship meet held last November including Nick Tuck, Brendan Smith, Kevin Monogue, Pat Hally and Ross Wilson. They placed second at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional meet to earn an auto-berth to the championships in 2015.
The Quaker women claimed the No. 3 spot in the Mid-Atlantic region following a strong track season. Led by NCAA performer and First-Team All-Ivy honoree Ashley Montgomery, the Quakers welcome back their top-five women in Montgomery, Cleo and Clarissa Whiting, Abby Hong and Isabel Griffith and will have fresh crop of underclassmen who will look to push the top-7 throughout the season.
Penn opens the 2016 season on Sept. 9th when they compete in the Big 5 Invitational at Belmont Plateau beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Philadelphia, Pa.