Women's Cross Country Faces National Powers Friday

PHILADELPHIA - After a near-miss at the Iona Meet of Champions, the Penn women's cross country team will look to build off that second place finish at the highly regarded Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa. on Friday morning.

The Quakers, ranked ninth in the latest Mid-Atlantic Region rankings, will compete in a field of 45 schools, four of which are Top 10 nationally, including #1 Georgetown, #3 Providence and #5 Villanova. Of the 45 teams, 23 others besides Penn have earned regional rankings entering Friday's run.

Penn finished in 15th out of 41 schools at last year's race. Leslie Kovach was the first Quaker to cross the finish line, placing 21st in a time of 21:01. Margaret Diacont, from nearby Nazareth, Pa., was 139th with a time of 22:33 and will look to improve on that position significantly after a sixth place finish her last time out. Laura Steel will also be counted on to provide a solid time, with a couple key contributors expected to take a break this week to prepare for the Penn State National Invitational.

The women's race is scheduled to go off at approximately 11:45 following the conclusion of the men's race. Full results will be posted to PennAthletics.com once they are made available.