Men's Cross Country Makes Huge Strides at Iona

PHILADELPHIA - Although the final standings may not show it, the men's cross country team made a dramatic improvement in finishing seventh out of 19 schoolsat Saturday's Iona Meet of Champions.

Running the exact same course as they had the previous week at the Fordham Fiasco, the Quakers were led by Ryan Cunningham's 26th place finish, crossing the line in 26:06, 33 seconds faster than a week ago. Max Lamb was the second Penn finisher, placing 32nd while making a 1:36 improvement over last week's performance. In all, the top five Penn runners all crossed within 31 seconds of each other.

"We moved up almost across the board this week," said head coach Blake Boldon. "It's an exciting step for the team. Max Lamb and Mike Kiley (26:38) in particular showed me something great today. Now as we enter bigger meets, we can do so with confidence and the knowledge that we are ready to compete with some of these upper-echelon schools."

The Quakers have a week off to prepare for the Paul Short Invitational, held Sept. 30 in Bethlehem, Pa. Last year, Penn finished 15th out of 42 schools entered into the event. Cunningham is the top returningPenn runnerfrom last year's race, having finished 169th with a time of 25:39.