Men's XC Beats the Odds- Takes Fourth at Regionals

Men's Results | Women's Results

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- With predictions of not even breaking into the top six, the University of Pennsylvania men’s cross country team defied the odds and placed fourth at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships today at Lehigh’s Goodman Course. Four of the Quakers finished in the top 50, with one finishing in the top five. With the strong performance, Penn has a chance at an at-large berth to the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.

With their best showing of the season, the men ran an average time of 30:50. No. 20 Villanova finished first, averaging 29:57, and took the top two spots of the race. Georgetown and Penn State finished in the third and fourth slots, followed by a runner from Penn and No. 15 Princeton.

The first Ivy to cross the finish line was sophomore Thomas Awad, who placed fifth overall with a time of 29:49 and punched himself a ticket to nationals. Courtney Jaworski was the last Quaker to represent Penn cross country at nationals, which was back in 2005.

Next to cross the line within the top 50 was sophomore Brendan Smith (30:41) in 24th, freshman Brendan Shearn (30:50) 26th, and Junior John Trueman (31:19) 46th. Rounding out the team’s seven runners were freshman Nick Tuck (31:29) in 51st, senior Conner Paez (31:33) in 56th, and senior Conor Nickel (32:40) in 102nd.

The top two teams in each region automatically compete at the NCAA D-I 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.

The team and individual at-large selections will be made on Saturday, Nov. 16 at 3:00 p.m. on