XC Prepares for Stiff Competition at Heptagonals

PHILADELPHIA – The biggest race of the season is upon the University of Pennsylvania cross country teams: the Heptagonal Championships. The field will consist of the top-ranked men’s teams in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Regions as well as the second-place women’s teams in those respective regions.

For the third year in a row, the Ancient Eight will gather on Saturday for the showdown at Princeton’s West Windsor Field, with the men running at 11 a.m. followed by the women at noon.

A live blog of the races can be found by clicking here.

Live results can be found by clicking here.

Ranked ninth in the Mid-Atlantic Region by the USTFCCCA, the men from Penn will look to a number of young runners to help them improve from last year’s seventh-place finish. Two of the Quakers’ top two runners, sophomores Thomas Awad and Brendan Smith, competed at Heps last year, while freshmen Brendan Shearn and Nick Tuck will be making their first trip to race in the 8K. The Red and Blue will be contending with the 2012 champion and current No. 1 team in the Mid-Atlantic Region, Princeton, and the No. 1 team in the Northeast Region, Columbia.

Last year, the Penn women finished last among the Ancient Eight and will again compete in a strong field of runners. Ranked eighth in the region, the Quakers will also have fresh legs, freshman Cleo Whiting and sophomore Elyssa Gensib, leading the pack in the 6K. The Red and Blue looks to challenge Princeton and Dartmouth, who enter the meet ranked second in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Regions, respectively.