NEW YORK – An abundance of hard-work and focus has stapled the Columbia women’s cross country team this season and on Saturday, Nov. 2 the Lions will look to put on a show at the 2013 Ivy League Cross Country Heptagonal Championships. For the third consecutive season, Heps will be held at the West Windsor Fields in Princeton, N.J. with the women’s 6k-race set to begin at noon.
ABOUT THE LIONS
The Lions have faced several challenges already this season on a number of the country’s top courses. At the 2013 Wisconsin Adidas Invitational, Columbia lined up with 16 ranked teams, including four Ivy League opponents. The Lions made some big strides for its team grabbing 28th-place behind an outstanding performance by Waverly Neer who finished 14th in the 300-plus runner field.
Neer will return to Heps on Saturday for the first time since her outstanding runner-up finish at the 20ll Ivy League Championships. The junior was sidelined in 2012 due to injury and has battled back to place herself among the top runners in the conference heading into the championship race.
Throughout the season, a number of Lions have stepped in each outing to aid the team progression over the last month. Seniors Danika Simonson and Chelsea Carrick have continued to improve and earn points, including top-60 performances in the 406-runner field at the Paul Short Invitational.
RUNNERS TO WATCH
Waverly Neer, Junior
- Program's fastest 6k time this season at 20:05 (Paul Short Invitational)
- Top Columbia finisher in all races competed this season.
-2011: Posted a runner-up individual finish at HEPS.
-2011: First Team All-Ivy League
Leila Mantilla, Sophomore
- Program's second fastest 6k time this season at 20:54 (Paul Short Invitational)
- Posted two top-20 finishes this season, including a eighth place finish at the Stony Brook Invitational
SCOUTING THE ANCIENT EIGHT
No. 11 Dartmouth looks to be the team to beat in 2013. The Big Green is led by the return of standout Abbey D’Agostino, the 2011 individual Ivy League champion. Princeton, the host school, and Cornell both also represent the Ivy League in the national polls. The Tigers come in at No. 23 and are closely followed by the Big Red at No. 24.
Princeton is also No. 2 in the Mid-Atlantic Region. In a Northeast region loaded with Ivy League teams, No. 2 Dartmouth leads the pack, followed by Cornell at No. 4 in the latest polls. Harvard jumps in the top-10 at No. 6 and Columbia is on the Crimson heels at No. 7.