WILLISTON, Vt. - For the third consecutive year, the Columbia men's and women's cross country team swept the Vermont Invitational in Williston, Vt., on Sunday, September 9 at the Catamount Family Center. Columbia defeated St. Michael College and host Vermont in an impressive start to the season.
The men's team featured 13 of the top 15 finishers in the 8K race to finish with a winning score of 15. Leighton Spencer posted a great start to his senior season winning the men's individual title with a time of 24:50.2. For the second consecutive season Mark Feigen (24:50.4) placed second in the Vermont Invitational, while juniors Jacob Sienko (25:17.3), Byron Jones (24:50.5), and senior Mike Murphy (24.50.8) rounded out the top five. The veterans led the way for the Lions with Nico Composto (24:53.5) in 6th place and first-year Dustin Wilson began his collegiate career capturing a top seven finish with a time of 24:54.3.
Columbia continued a great open to the season in the women's 5k with a winning team score of 20. Sophomore Waverly Neer led the Lions with a title winning time of 17:41.1 and Erin Gillingham (17:48.2) took second place. Seniors Clare Buck (18:08.5), Noelle Van Rysselberghe (18:13.5), and Mallory Anderson (18:16.5) all finished in the top seven for Columbia. Taking eighth place was junior Caroline Williams (18:25.4) and in her first race as a Lion, first-year Leila Mantilla finished tenth with a time of 18:39.6.
The Columbia women will be back in action in Toledo, Ohio for the University of Toledo Invitational on Friday, September 21. The men's team gets set for the Paul Short Invitational on Friday, September 28 in Bethlehem, Pa.