Women's Cross Country Readies for NCAA Regional

NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Home Page

The women's cross country team will have an uphill climb in more than one way as they travel to hilly Penn State for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, taking place Friday at 12 p.m.

Penn enters the race as the No. 10 team in the Mid-Atlantic Region but will have to contend with such nationally-ranked entities as No. 9 Georgetown, No. 15 Penn State and No. 25 Villanova. With 32 other schools competing in the event, it's sure to be a crowded course. Unfortunately the Quakers will be without the services and experience of senior Leslie Kovach, who has been the top finisher for the team in each race she's been in this season.

In her stead, upperclassmen such as senior co-captain Margaret Diacont and junior Kersie Jhabvala will need to take on an expanded role. The talented freshmen class will also be counted on, particularly Hannah Grossman and Elyssa Gensib, the top two Penn finishers at the Heptagonal Championships. Those two, along with Jhabvala, all cracked the 22-minute mark in the 6k race at Princeton.

The Mid-Atlantic Regional is one of nine races happening across the country that will help determine the field for the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 19. The top two finishers in each region will qualify automatically for the race, with 13 at-large bids to be awarded based on season performance to date.