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Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at Lehigh’s Paul Short Invitational on Friday. Out of 33 teams, the men finished in first, far ahead of second-place Canisius College; the women finished 16th out of 40 schools.

The 16th-place finish was a dramatic improvement for the women over their result at Lehigh last season. Out of 45 schools, the women’s team finished in the bottom half in 30th place a year ago.

The top-half finish this year was due in large part to the return of senior co-captain Leslie Kovach. Kovach, who missed last year’s event due to an injury, finished 56th out of 360 competitors. In the same race, Penn junior Kersie Jhabvala finished 66th. Freshmen Hannah Grossman and Elyssa Gensib finished 100th and 132nd, respectively.

Freshmen led the way for the Red and Blue on the men’s side. Brendan Smith finished in third, Brandon Clark came in fifth and Thomas Awad crossed the finish line seventh for the Quakers. Their combined 15 points set the stage for what turned out to be an outstanding day for the men. Seniors Kevin Foy and George Dickson finished 15th and 17th, respectively.

Both teams will have next weekend off before resuming their schedules on October 11th and 13th. On the 11th, a select group of competitors will compete at the Haverford Invitational. Two days later, the men’s and women’s teams will be back to full strength, competing at Lafayette University’s Leopard Invitational .

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