PHILADELPHIA – Fresh off recording their best Heps finish in over 40 years last Friday at Van Cortlandt Park, the University of Pennsylvania men’s cross country team moved up six spots to No. 23 in the latest USTFCCCA National Poll. The Quakers’ No. 29 ranking in the October 20th poll was the first time that Penn had been ranked since the inception of the top-30 in 1995.
Penn finished with 69 points at Friday’s Heps, just four shy of No. 16 Columbia. The second-place showing is the Quakers’ highest Ivy finish since winning the title in 1973. The Red and Blue improved 42 points from a year ago, slotting five runners within the top-22 finishers.
Senior captain Thomas Awad led the way, winning his second-consecutive individual championship with a top time of 24:26.4. Awad became Penn’s first two-time Heps winner since Dave Merrick captured titles in 1971, 1973 and 1975.
Brendan Shearn and Nick Tuck followed Awad at 12th and 13th, respectively. Shearn clocked in at 25:04.1, while Tuck recorded a mark of 25:07.9.
Ross Wilson and Brendan Smith rounded out the Penn attack, finishing back-to-back at 21st and 22nd. Wilson registered a time of a 25:21.5, while Smith posted a mark of 25:22.2. All of Penn’s scorers improved at least 17 places from a year ago.
The Quakers will compete next at the NCAA Regionals on November 13 at Princeton.