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The Penn men’s and women’s cross country seasons came to an end Friday at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, with a number of strong performances from underclassmen giving the team optimism for the future.

Running in a 10-kilometer race for the first and only time of the season, the men’s team notched a 10th-place finish.

Freshman Thomas Awad was the top finisher for the Red and Blue, posting a 34th-place finish with a time of 31:19.

Following behind Awad was senior Mike Kiley (54th overall, 31:49) and fellow freshmen Brandon Clark and Brendan Smith, who finished in 64th and 66th, respectively.

Running in their final races, senior co-captains George Dickson III and Kevin Foy logged times of 32:27 and 32:44.

On the women’s side, the team recorded an eighth-place finish despite the absence of All-American Leslie Kovach.

The top finisher for the women was freshman Hannah Grossman, who finished 34th overall with a time of 21:43 in the 6K race.

Following closely behind was senior Margaret Diacont, who finished 40th with a time of 21:50.

Two other freshmen finished among Penn’s top five, with Elyssa Gensib placing 67th and Nicole Ghazarian finishing 107th.

Though neither squad will advance to nationals, both teams improved by three spots from their final 2011 standings, a marked improvement in the first year of Steve Dolan’s tenure as head coach.

The teams have little time off, as the first meet of the 2012-13 winter track season is Dec. 1 at Lehigh.


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