STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – At the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals hosted by Penn State on Friday, the University of Pennsylvania men’s cross country team finished sixth out of 23 teams. Two Quakers finished within the top 25 to earn All-Region Honors and led the Red and Blue to 151 team points.
Ranked No. 7 in the nation, Big 5 rival Villanova finished as the top team with 41 points and earned an automatic bid to the championships. The Wildcats had three runners finish in the top ten but it was host Penn State’s Matt Fischer who scored the lone point for his team, as he took the individual title in 30:16. The Nittany Lions finished third overall with 87 points. Georgetown was the other team to earn an automatic bid to Terre Haute, finishing second with 74 team points. Ivy rival Princeton was one point shy of third place, scoring 88 team points. Navy rounded out the top five teams with 143 points.
Penn took sixth out of the 23 teams, scoring 151 points. Junior captain Thomas Awad led the Quakers with his third place finish in 30:21, earning All-Region Honors. Senior Conner Paez also earned All-Region for finishing within the top 25. He placed 23 with a time of 30:47.
At the 2-mile mark, three members of the Red and Blue were clocked at 10:06. Paez led the pack in 23rd; Awad was in 27th and junior Brendan Smith in 29th. Smith would finish the race in 31:29 for 55 team points.
Sophomores Brendan Shearn and Nick Tuck were the other two runners to score the Penn, finishing 33rd and 37th respectively. Shearn was the third Quaker to cross the line (31:00) while Tuck was the fourth (31:08).
The top two teams in each region automatically earn a bid to the NCAA D-I Cross Country Championships. The remaining 13 at-large bids are then determine through a selection process of reviewing all competition results. Once all teams have been determined, 38 additional individuals per gender are selected to compete. Of the teams that were not selected, the top four finishers are automatically selected, as long as they have finished within the region’s top 25. Two additional athletes, who have finished in the regional top 25, will be selected from the remainder of the national pool as at-large individuals.
Mid-Atlantic Region Top 10
1. Villanova, 41 pts
2. Georgetown, 74 pts
3. Penn State, 87 pts
4. Princeton, 88 pts
5. Navy, 143 pts
6. Penn, 151 pts
7. UMBC, 248 pts
8. Duquesne, 251 pts
9. Lehigh, 253 pts
10. Bucknell, 261 pts