PHILADELPHIA – The 2016 season got off to a great start for the University of Pennsylvania cross country teams as both the men and women won the Big 5 Invitational on Friday afternoon in Philadelphia, Pa at Belmont Plateau. Soaring temperatures made for difficult racing but the Red and Blue persevered for terrific team showings.
Seniors Ashley Montgomery and Nick Tuck claimed individual titles on the afternoon for the Quakers. Montgomery clocked in at 14:16.8 in the women’s 4k race (5:44 avg.) while Tuck paced himself to a final time of 18:57.0 (5:05 avg.) in the men’s 6k.
The Penn women registered 17 team points and took the top-4 spots on the afternoon and seven of the top-10. Following closely behind Montgomery were Clarissa Whiting, Cleo Whiting and Erin Feeney in second, third and fourth place while Penn’s fifth scorer, Abby Hong, placed seventh. Marin Warner and Rachel Beston rounded out the Quakers top-7 in eighth and ninth place, respectively.
Temple finished in second overall in the women’s team standings while Saint Joseph’s took third. The Red and Blue tallied an average time of 14:26 over the 4k course.
On the men’s side, the Quakers were equally dominate with Tuck leading the way averaging 5:05 mile pace. Fellow senior and team captain Brendan Shearn crossed the finish just under eight seconds later while sophomore Patrick Hally clocked third for the 1-2-3 finish.
Rounding out the Penn top-5 were Kevin Monogue in fifth and Chris Luciano in eighth, while Aaron Groff and Tom Connelly finalized the Quaker top-7.
In all, the Red and Blue pushed six harriers into the top-10 while the five scoring members averaged 19:07 over the 6k course.
In the team standings, the Quakers were dominate with 19 points while Villanova placed second (63). Temple, Saint Joseph’s and La Salle rounded out the team finishes.
Penn will look to continue its plan as the teams train for the next race – the Main Line Invitational – a week from today on Friday, September 16th at Haverford College.
Women’s Team Standings:
1. Penn, 17
2. Temple, 44
3. Saint Joseph’s, 80
Men’s Team Standings:
1. Penn, 19
2. Villanova, 63
3. Temple, 68
4. Saint Joseph’s, 116
5. La Salle, 120