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Junior Troy Hill leads the men's cross country team with a second-place finish at the Haverford Invitational on Oct. 21. Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

As the Quakers head to New York on Friday for the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, the DP looks back at some of Penn men’s cross country’s best Ivy Heps moments in recent history.

Carey puts on career-best showing

Following a one-year break due to COVID-19, Penn had an eventful outing at the 2021 Ivy Heps. Zubeir Dagane and Michael Keehan put on decent performances, finishing 18th and 19th respectively, with Dagane running his fastest 8k yet. 

The star of the show, however, was senior captain Noah Carey. Clocking a rapid career-best timing of 23:56.6, he led the Red and Blue to a strong third-place finish and was named to the All-Ivy first team. His timing was the second-best in program history at the West Windsor Field, only behind Thomas Awad. 

The tiniest of margins

In what was one of the most nail-biting Heps in a long time, Penn clinched a first-place finish for the second time in four years at the 2019 meet, narrowly beating Harvard and Princeton by three and six points, respectively. 

In a cohesive team effort, all five Quaker runners made it into the top 20, with just 40 seconds separating the first and last runner. Anthony Russo, Penn’s number one on the day, put in an impressive showing, finishing runner-up overall with a strong time of 24:38.3. 

Russo earned All-Ivy first team honors, while Penn’s number two and three, Will Daly and Ryan Renken, were part of the All-Ivy second team.

Ending the drought

In an absolutely dominant performance on the course, Penn’s men’s cross-country team swept the Ivy Heps in 2016. All five runners made it into the top 12 and were separated by 15 seconds. 

Seniors Nick Tuck and Brendan Shearn finished in fourth and fifth respectively, earning themselves a spot on the All-Ivy first team. Chris Hatler, Chris Luciano and Patrick Hally bagged eighth-, ninth-, and 12th-place finishes, with each of them being awarded the All-Ivy second team honors.  

They steamrolled their competitors, amassing 38 points in comparison to second-place Princeton’s 51 and defending champion Columbia’s 81, ending Penn’s 43-year wait for a Heps title in style.

Awad goes back-to-back

No list is complete without one of the most recognizable faces in Penn men's cross country in recent times.

At the 2015 Ivy Heps, senior Thomas Awad won his second consecutive Ivy Heps title, clocking in at a remarkable time of 24:26.4, and leading the Red and Blue to a second-place finish. 

Hs time was just two seconds shy of his victorious 2014 showing – which had been the first time in about 40 years that a Quaker had won an individual title. Awad, a talented runner, had even bagged a third-place finish in his sophomore year.

Unsurprisingly, Awad secured a spot in the All-Ivy first team during these years, and won several individual accolades, including the ‘2015 Indoor Heps Most Outstanding Track Peformer’ and the ‘2015 Outdoor Heps Most Outstanding Track Performer’.

Notably, he also holds the school records in the outdoor 5,000 meters (13:33.29) and the indoor mile (3:57.03), as well as the Ivy League record for the latter.