Women's XC Prepped for NCAA Championships Saturday

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP LINKS: Meet Central | Box Draws | Live Stream | Live Results
Date: Saturday, Nov. 19
Site: LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, Terre Haute, Ind.  
Schedule: Women’s 6k (11 a.m.)
                 Men’s 10k (12 p.m.)

PHILADELPHIA, PA. – Earning their first NCAA Championship bid in program history, the University of Pennsylvania women’s cross country team will compete amongst the best teams in the nation at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course on Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind.

The Red and Blue are set for their first team appearance at the NCAA Championship event and are bolstered by previous individual NCAA experience of Ashley Montgomery and Cleo Whiting, who are two of the eight athletes in program history to have qualified for the event dating back to its start in 1981.

Additionally, men’s cross country senior Nick Tuck will also compete in the men’s 10k slated for noon as a solo qualifier based on his performance at regionals a week ago.

The official field for the NCAA Championship is made up of 31 teams including 18 auto-qualifiers and 13 at-large selections. 38 individuals were also selected based upon their performances at the regional qualifiers.

Last Time Out...
The Quaker women finished in third place with a total of 99 points and improved from their sixth place showing just a year ago at the Mid-Atlantic Reginal held in State College, Pa. Senior Ashley Montgomery once again led the way for the Red and Blue, crossing the finish in sixth to lead the Quakers as the quintet went 6-10-20-28-35 for 99 points.

Cleo and Clarissa Whiting rounded out the top three right behind Montgomery while Erin Feeney and Abby Hong 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 Red and Blue continue to be ranked amongst the best in both the region and nation in the latest USTFCCCA polls. The women clock in at No. 3 in the Mid-Atlantic region and No. 24 nationally.

*This marks the first time the Penn women have qualified for the NCAA Championship as a team in program history. The Quakers have previously had eight individuals qualify for the meet dating back to its start in 1981.

*Senior Ashley Montgomery has been the individual winner of both the Big 5 and Main Line Invites. Montgomery followed those performances with a second place effort at the Paul Short Run and the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships and a 13th place finish at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational. She’s placed in the top-15 of every meet this season.

*The top-5 for the Penn women have been remarkably consistent to start the season with all five scoring members remaining the same at each meet: Ashley Montgomery, Cleo Whiting, Clarissa Whiting, Erin Feeney and Abby Hong lead the way for the Red and Blue.

*Montgomery comes back to lead the Quaker women following an individual NCAA qualification last year for cross country. Cleo Whiting (2013) and Montgomery return to the meet with previous NCAA experience as individual competitors.

*The Quakers placed third at the Mid-Atlantic Regional held a week ago in State College, Pa. and Montgomery led the team with a sixth place finish. For their performances, Montgomery, Cleo Whiting and Clarissa Whiting earned All-Region honors by finishing in the top-25 of the individual standings, while Montgomery and Clarissa Whiting earned All-Ivy accolades at Heps.