STATE COLLEGE, PA. – The University of Pennsylvania cross country teams competed at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional in State College, Pa. this afternoon in hopes of gaining bids to the NCAA Championship set for next week in Terre Haute, Ind.
The Quaker women finished in third place with a total of 99 points while the men came in fourth with 111 points in the team standings. The top two teams in each region gained automatic bids to the championship and the Red and Blue will now wait to see if they can receive an at-large invitation to the Big Dance set for Saturday, Nov. 19.
The Penn women improved from sixth place in 2015 to come in third this afternoon. Senior Ashley Montgomery once again led the way for the Red and Blue, crossing the finish in sixth (20:32) to lead the Quakers as the quintet went 6-10-20-28-35 for 99 points.
The Quakers held steady from the 3k mark and closed over the second half of the race to maintain their team standing of third at the finish. The scoring members finished within 1:08 of one another as Penn State and Villanova claimed the top two podium spots at the meet. Penn State’s Tessa Barrett raced well on her home course to earn the individual championship.
Cleo (20:46) and Clarissa Whiting (21:09) rounded out the top three right behind Montgomery while Erin Feeney (21:24) and Abby Hong (21:39) finished as the scoring runners for Penn. Christina Rancan and Karli Visconto were the sixth and seventh runners for the Quakers, placing 56th and 69th respectively.
The men took to the starting boxes an hour later for their 1 p.m. start. The Red and Blue were led once again by senior Nick Tuck who crossed the finish in 30:57 to place sixth in the individual standings as he averaged a 4:59 pace over the 10k course.
Brendan Shearn (31:05), Kevin Monogue (31:25), Chris Hatler (31:26) and Ross Wilson (31:36) were the top-five scorers along with Tuck as the Quakers went 6-10-28-29-38 for 111 points and a spread of just 39 seconds. Patrick Hally and Chris Luciano rounded out the top-seven in 55th and 68th.
Georgetown, Navy, and Princeton claimed the podium spots on the afternoon on the men’s side while Villanova’s Patrick Tiernan earned the individual win.
For their performances, Nick Tuck, Brendan Shearn, Ashley Montgomery, Cleo Whiting, and Clarissa Whiting earned All-Region honors by placing in the top-25 of the individual standings.
A total of 31 teams will compete at the NCAA Championships set to take place in Terre Haute, Ind. on Nov. 19. 18 bids are automatic (top two teams in each region) while 13 teams will receive an at-large bid. Individuals can qualify by finishing as one of the four best in a region not qualifying as part of a team.
The official NCAA Championship field will be announced Saturday. Stay tuned to PennAthletics.com for up to date information.