PHILADELPHIA - The women's cross country team travels to Princeton on Saturday to see where they stand in the Ivy League, as they race in the 72nd annual Heptagonal Championships. The eighth-ranked team in the Mid-Atlantic region, the Quakers got a first glimpse of the course two weeks ago as three runners competed in the Princeton Invitational.
A year ago at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, Penn placed sixth in the event and were led by the 13th place finish of Leslie Kovach. Kovach is now among the top ten runners returning from the 2010 race. A few others who competed a year ago, including junior Margaret Diacont, senior Veronica Salcido and sophomores Chelsea Delaney and Kersie Jhabvala also return while freshmen Lauren Kester and Ariel Beauregard-Breton are among those who will receive their first taste of a Heps atmosphere.
The team had a big bounce-back effort its last time out at Penn State, finishing seventh out of 29 squads entered in the event. Kovach ran the hilly and muddy 6k course in a time of 22:05 while Diacont came in next at 22:50. Kester, Jhabvala and Delaney rounded out the scoring for Penn that day. Despite just the seven other schools competing at Heps, Penn will have its hands full with the likes of the Cornell, Princeton and Yale, three schools either ranked or receiving votes in the latest USTFCCCA poll.
The women's race is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. following the completion of the men's race at 11 a.m. An awards ceremony including the naming of the All-Ivy First and Second Teams will complete the day's festivities. You can follow a live blog of the race here, while final results will be posted on the Ivy League website here.