State College, Pa. -The women's cross country team showed its depth and toughness on Friday, overcoming the absence of Leslie Kovach and sprinting to an eighth place finish out of more than 30 teams at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, hosted by Penn State.
Without one of its two co-captains available, the Penn freshmen again stepped up. Hannah Grossman was the fourth freshman across the finish line in the race, finishing 34th overall in a time of 21:43. Not far behind her was the other Quaker co-captain, senior Margaret Diacont. Diacont ended her final fall season in 40th place with a time of 21:50. Kersie Jhabvala has made significant strides this season and it showed on Friday. She was the third Penn finisher, wrapping up in 22:03 to finish 49th. Two more freshmen, Elyssa Gensib (67th, 22:19) and Nicole Ghazarian (107th, 23:03) closed out the scoring for the Red and Blue.
Junior Chelsea Delaney (23:37) and freshman Lauren Murphy (23:52) were the other two runners for the Quakers.
By virtue of finishing in the top two spots, Penn State and Georgetown secured automatic bids to the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 19. Though Penn ends its fall season with this race, they did finish ahead of Big 5 rivals in Saint Joseph's and Temple, and moved up three spots in the overall team standings from 2011.
The indoor track and field season will get underway on Dec. 1 with the Lehigh Invitational.