Delilah DiCrescenzo
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics

Delilah DiCrescenzo is tough. It’s not immediately evident when you look at her, as her slight build and short stature make her seem almost delicate, possibly fragile to those who don’t know better. But you’d be mistaken if you judge too quickly, because DiCrescenzo is one of the most dominant, successful and competitive athletes ever to come out of Columbia’s cross country and track & field program.

DiCrescenzo was a team captain of a women’s cross country program that dominated the Ivy League each of her four years in Columbia blue. The team won Ivy League Championship titles each of her four seasons, and qualified for the NCAA National Championships in each of those years, a feat that has not been replicated since.

But cross country was not DiCrescenzo’s specialty. At heart, DiCrescenzo was a steeplechaser, quite possibly the toughest running event you can enter. She became the first woman in League history to win the steeple Ivy League championship title three years in a row. She qualified for the NCAA finals in the event in both her junior and senior seasons, earning All-American honors with her ninth place finish in 2005. She holds the school record in the event by over 12 seconds, and is ranked second all-time in the outdoor 1500m and 5000m.

But DiCrescenzo’s successes have only multiplied since her senior season came to a close. The Connie S. Maniatty Outstanding Female Senior Student-Athlete in 2005, DiCrescenzo has continued to shine as one of USA Track & Field’s most promising young athletes.  One of only two athletes in the United States sponsored by Puma, she has represented the U.S. in multiple international competitions. In her first year out of school, DiCrescenzo finished third in the steeplechase at the 2006 Outdoor Nationals, and won the 6K title at the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships in 2007. In 2008, she competed in the Olympic Trials, advancing to the finals of the 3000m steeplechase, before barely missing out on a chance to compete in Beijing. But it was just a year later that DiCrescenzo earned a chance to compete wearing the red, white and blue.

In 2009, she finished fourth at the United States Cross Country Championships, earning a spot on U.S. Track & Field national team. She was one of five women to represent the U.S. at the 2009 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Amman, Jordan. Most recently, DiCrescenzo won the individual women’s open title at the 2010 North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association Cross Country Championships at the Mt. Irvine Resort in Tobago, leading the U.S. to a team title.

DiCrescenzo has done all this while working on getting a master’s degree in sports management from Columbia, and serving as a part-time assistant coach with the Columbia cross country and track & field programs, proving that both her athletic ability and her loyalty to her alma mater are tough to match.