ashleymontgomery

Senior Ashley Montgomery had a solid weekend, helping Penn take first in the Main Line Invitational. 

The cross country team continued its winning streak this weekend with both the men’s and women’s sides taking first at the Main Line Invitational on Friday afternoon.

The women went 1-3-4-6-8 for a total of 22 team points and clinching first place overall. The men followed closely behind with a 3-4-5-6-8 finish, for a total of 28 team points, also taking the top spot.

Coach Steve Dolan was happy with the team’s performance. 

“It was a nice way to ease into the season. We’ve been training very hard,” he said. “It was a good team effort from everybody.”

For the women, upperclassmen put up strong times. Senior Ashley Montgomery put up the top time and took her second consecutive individual win. Fellow seniors Cleo and Clarissa Whiting followed closely behind, taking third and fourth places with times of 16:49.5 and 16:55.1 respectively.

“It was nice, I feel like these are some of my favorite races,” Montgomery said, emphasizing the fact that the team stuck together during the race. “It honestly feels less of like we’re being held back and more of like we need each other there to get through the beginning and the middle,” she said.

“It just feels good when you have so many of your teammates behind you,” Cleo added.

Dolan also said he was particularly impressed with junior Abby Hong and freshman Erin Feeney. 

“Abby was a really key scorer for us and had a really nice race, and also Erin has been really impressive,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dolan said that he was pleasantly suprised with how the freshmen were adjusting to the team and a college training schedule.

“It’s a big adjustment to college, adjusting to a new academic schedule and a new level of training,” Dolan said. “They’ve done really well this first month of the year.”

For the men, the freshmen played a particularly important role.

“We had a few guys take a training week. A couple of the guys that ran really well and placed high in our earlier races, we had them training and actually not racing this weekend,” Dolan said. “It gave the opportunity for the leadership and the spotlight to some of the other runners, and they really stepped up and performed well.

“The freshmen played a really big part of it, which was pretty cool,” Dolan continued, pointing specifically to performances from freshmen Aaron Groff and twin brothers Colin and Will Daly.

Looking forward, Dolan is taking each race as it comes. 

“We’re just trying to take them one at a time. We don’t race again for two weeks … We’ll be in a real big field there,” he said, referencing the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University on Oct. 1. “I’m very proud of where they are and excited about what’s coming,” he said.

For the runners, though, it’s all in the team.

“You know, it takes seven good runners to put up a good score, not three,” Montgomery said.

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