Penn State cross country: Fischer makes NCAA meet

Penn State’s Matt Fischer was the only runner on either the men’s or women’s teams to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships after Friday afternoon’s Mid-Atlantic Regional at Lehigh.

Both Nittany Lion teams had top-five finishes but will have to wait for the NCAA to hand out at-large bids on Saturday. The NCAA meet will be run Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind.

Fischer placed fourth in 29 minutes, 46 seconds on the 10-kilometer course.

The Nittany Lion women took third as a team with 92 points. The men were fifth with 175 points. The top two teams and the top five runners not on those teams automatically earn berths into the finals.

Villanova (34) and Princeton (60) picked up the men’s bids. Villanova (31) and Georgetown (35) grabbed the women’s bids.

Other finishers for the Penn State men were Connor Quinn (31, 31:02), Nick Scarpello (35, 31:05), Austin Pondel (43, 31:16), Brannon Kidder (62, 31:42), Chris Campbell (77, 32:04) and Wade Endress (80, 32:09).

The Nittany Lion women’s runners for the 6-kilometer course were Leigha Anderson (12, 20:02), Marta Klebe (14, 20:09), Emily Giannotti (18, 20:41), Katie Rodden (19, 20:43), Tori Gerlach (29, 21:02), Sarah Jane Underwood (32, 21:08) and Stephanie Aldrich (80, 21:54).

Villanova’s Patrick Tiernan (29:37) and Emily Lipari (19:53) had the top times for the men and women, respectively.