NEW ORLEANS – The 2013-14 campaign for the Columbia men’s cross country/track & field program has been one of the most impressive in school history so far. The Lions achievements and marks have ranked with the best in the country. With two-thirds of the season in the books, Columbia stands in the top-15 of the 2013-14 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Program of the Year award races.

The Program of the Year Award is given annually to the most outstanding cross country/track & field program.  The award honors the institution that has achieved the most success in each academic year (spanning the cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field seasons) based on the institution’s finish at the NCAA Championships.

In order to be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for each of the NCAA Championships.  Scoring is based on the team’s finish at each NCAA Championship in cross country, indoor track & field and outdoor track & field with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award recipient.

In a fall season that was marked by big wins and an Ivy League Championship title, the men’s cross country team concluded the year with a top-25 finish at the 2013 NCAA Division I Cross Country National Championships. The Lions combined for 580 points to finish 25th overall, highlighted by an All-American finish from senior Nicolas Composto.

The Lions are fresh off highly successful performances at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track & Field National Championships about two weeks ago. Behind an All-American sixth-place finish in the one mile by John Gregorek and another All-American fifth-place finish by the distance medley relay squad of Brendon Fish, Noah Lartigue, Harrison McFann and Daniel Everett, the Lions placed 30th overall as a program.

The outdoor track & field season is just weeks away for Columbia and the Lions are geared for another big run to cap the year.