The men’s and women’s cross country teams had a tough test on Friday to prepare for their season, running against La Salle in an unscored competition.
The women’s squad had five of the top-eight finishers and three of the top four, including senior Leslie Kovach. Kovach managed the second-best time of the meet in the four-kilometer race with a time of 14:41.
Her 5K time last year was 18:17, so she is essentially on pace with last season. In third place was freshman Hannah Grossman at 14:43 and in fourth was junior Kersie Jhabvala at 14:51.
The men had more of a challenge, going up against the reigning champion in men’s cross country.
La Salle took all four of the top spots, a result that would have earned them a victory if the race was scored, while Penn took the next four spaces.
Three of the four top finishers for Penn were freshmen, indicating strong potential for the men’s squad.
Both the men’s and women’s teams started out strong last year with fourth and third finishes in the Fordham Fiasco, respectively. The women went on to place second in their next meet.
However, both teams finished dead last in the rain-soaked Heptagonal Championships, their second to last competition of the season, and both finished in the middle of the pack during the season-ending Regional Championships.
This off-season, Penn hired Steve Dolan, a cross-country coach who spent eight years acquiring an excellent record at Princeton, to head both teams.
Their next meet will take place Saturday at the Iona Meet of Champions in New York.