PRINCETON, N.J. – For the first time since 1975, the University of Pennsylvania men’s cross country team will be headed to the NCAA Championships. This historic achievement is thanks to a second-place finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional on Friday afternoon at West Windsor Fields in Princeton, N.J.
The No. 23 Quakers finished with 60 total points; a 91-point improvement from a year ago (6th place). Penn fended off No. 22 Villanova, finishing seven points ahead of its familiar foe. 15th-ranked Georgetown took home first-place with 44 points.
"I am so proud of the effort and determination of the Penn men and women today," said Penn head coach Steve Dolan. "The spirit of the Penn Quakers was clear to see on that course. It's a great moment for the entire Penn cross country and track and field family."
Penn finished with five runners within the top 25, each earning All-Region honors in the process. Senior Thomas Awad led the way with a fourth-place finish, while junior Nick Tuck (6th) also finished in the top ten. Awad crossed the line in 30:49.5, while Tuck clocked a 10K of 30:54.6.
Brendan Shearn followed the duo in 12th-place, recording a mark of 31:12.9. Brendan Smith and Ross Wilson capped off the scoring for Penn in 15th and 23rd place, respectively. Smith registered a time of 31:21.2, while Wilson came in at 31:32.2.
Prior to this season, the Quakers hadn’t cracked the top three in the Mid-Atlantic since 2004 (3rd place).
The Quakers will now travel to Louisville, Ky. next weekend (Nov. 21) for the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Full Penn Results:
4.Thomas Awad - 30:49.5
6. Nick Tuck - 30:54.6
12. Brendan Shearn - 31:12.9
15. Brendan Smith - 31:21.2
23. Ross Wilson - 31:32.2
28. Patrick Hally - 31:39.0
102. Clark Shurtleff - 33:10.1