NEW YORK - In three indoor meets over the weekend, the Columbia track & field teams impressed, as we inch closer to the 2016 Heptagonal Championships.
The Lions took the track at the Armory Invitational at the NYC Armory, as well as the Metropolitan Championships and the Villanova Invitational at the Ocean Breeze Track & Field Complex in Staten Island.
At the Armory Invitational, the women had a strong finish from Natalie Tanner in the 3,000m run. In her first outing of the indoor season, the senior claimed third in 9:35.40, near her personal best of 9:28.55.
A career best was accomplished by Devon Towell, who almost knocked off a school record in the process. Towell went 2:47.83 in the 1,000m, for sixth place and the second fastest time in school history. Sarah Hardie, who owns the school record time of 2:47.67, claimed ninth in the race at 2:52.04.
The men saw a trio of athletes score points in the 5,000m run, going 2-3-4 in the process. George Miao was the runner-up in a career-best 14:40.90, with Tyler Italiano on his heels in third at 14:43.01, and Jonah Hanig taking fourth at 14:53.31.
In the 1 Mile run, Sam Ritz finished in fourth place, as the sophomore clocked a 4:07.61 during his first collegiate mile. Johanan Sowah claimed fifth place in the 500m, going 1:05.21 in the process, while Robert O'Brien took eighth in the pole vault at 4.70m.
Friday's Metropolitan Championships in Staten Island was highlighted on the women's side by Erin Gregoire, who finished second in the 1 Mile at 5:05.98, while Katie Wasserman took third in the 1,000m run at 2:59.06.
At the Villanova Invitational on Saturday night, Brittney Wade came through with a school record effort in the 800m, taking second place in the event. The senior clocked a 2:06.49, unseating Trina Bills' 2:07.04 from the 2004 season. That time came close to an all-time best 800m run for Wade, who has a 2:06.17 from the outdoor season last year.
Also during the Villanova Invite, Henna Rustami was a second place finisher in the 3,000m run when she blew away a personal best in 9:10.56. The men had a strong run from Josiah Langstaff in the 800m, when the sophomore finished third in 1:51.32.
Columbia is back in action twice next weekend, with the Fastrack National Elite scheduled for Friday, Feb. 10 at Ocean Breeze, followed by the Millrose Games at the Armory on Feb. 11.