PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women's cross country team showed no signs of weakness as they traveled back for a second straight weekto the Bronx's Van Cortlandt Park for the Iona Meet of Champions. Moving from last week's 5k to a 6.1k course on Saturday, the Quakers edged out Brown and finished a mere two points behind Iona for the team title.
Leslie Kovach and Margaret Diacont continue to provide a solid 1-2 punch for the Red and Blue. This week, the pair ran neck-and-neck for almost the entire race, with Kovach just sliding ahead at the end to finish in fifth overall with a time of 22:35. Diacont was sixth in 22:41.
The biggest improvement came this week with the third, fourth and fifth scorers. The spread from Kovach to Penn's fifth finisher, Chelsea Delaney (23:37, 32nd overall), shrank to just 1:02 today. Lauren Kester was 20th overall with a 23:13 while Laura Steel was 23rd in a time of 23:20.
"Delaney showed us she's much more than just a track runner today," said an enthused coach Blake Boldon. "She made a huge difference for us as we rested a couple girls. I think this is a core that will continue to improve and be ready for big things in October."
After a weekend off, the Quakers will get back into things at the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa. Penn finished15th out of 41 schools at last year's meet with Kovach's21st place finish leading the way.