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Senior Kyle Merber (left) and first-year Waverly Neer shined at the 2011 Ivy Heptagonal Championships. Merber took second in the men's 8K and Neer took second in the women's 6K.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Columbia's Men and Women Take Second At 2011 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 10/29/2011
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PRINCETON, N.J. -- Battling through heavy snow and freezing temperatures at Princeton's West Windsor Fields,  the Columbia men's and women's cross country teams each took second place at the 2011 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on Saturday.

Senior Kyle Merber and first-year Waverly Neer were outstanding in the frigid conditions as each finished second in their respective races.

The Columbia men's team finished just 14 points behind first-place Princeton with 51 team points in the men's 8K. Merber clocked in at 24:47.7 and earned first team All-Ivy honors.  He was in the front group for the entire race and had a few steps of the lead coming down the home stretch before Dartmouth's Ethan Shaw passed him just before the finish line to edge him by one tenth of a second.

The Lions were just one of two teams to place four runners in the top 15. Junior Mike Murphy took eighth at 25:12.5 and sophomore Nic Composto was right behind him in ninth at 25:13.8. Junior Ben Veilleux crossed at 25:25.8 for 14th place and senior Justin Heck took 18th at 25:29.1. Murphy, Composto and Veilleux earned second team All-Ivy honors.

Final Men's Team Standings (Points)
1. Princeton (37)
2. Columbia (51)
3. Dartmouth (79)
4. Brown (91)
5. Cornell (125)
6. Yale (162)
7. Harvard (184)
8. Penn (233)

2011 Men's Cross Country All-Ivy
First Team
Ethan Shaw, Dartmouth, Sr.
Kyle Merber, Columbia, Sr.
Donn Cabral, Princeton, Sr.
Dan Lowry, Brown, Sr.
Peter Maag, Princeton, Sr.
Matt Duffy, Brown, Sr.
Tyler Udland, Princeton, So.

Second Team
Mike Murphy, Columbia, Jr.
Nic Composto, Columbia, So.
Chris Bendtsen, Princeton. So.
Brett Kelly, Cornell, Jr.
Matt McDonald, Princeton, Fr.
Kevin Lunn, Yale, Jr.
Ben Veilleux, Columbia, Jr.

In the women's 6K, Columbia took second by just two points with 51 team points to Cornell's 49. Neer also ran a great race, setting the pace at the front of the pack from start to finish.  The Lions first-year clocked in at 22:02.7 was named to the All-Ivy first team. She was stride-for-stride with Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino coming down the stretch before D'Agostino pulled away for the narrow win.

Like the Lions men's team, the Columbia women also placed three runners in the top 10. Junior Caroline McDonough earned All-Ivy first team honors for the second straight year after finishing sixth at 22:15.5. Junior Clare Buck garnered second team All-Ivy honors after taking ninth at 22:30.0. Juniors Emily Lanois (16th, 22:41.8) and Noelle Van Rysselberghe (18th, 22:44.4) also had impressive showings in the snowy conditions.

Final Women's Team Standings (Points)
1. Cornell (49)
2. Columbia (51)
3. Princeton (94)
4. Yale (104)
5. Dartmouth (119)
6. Harvard (129)
7. Brown (153)
8. Penn (226)

2011 Women's Cross Country All-Ivy
First Team
Abbey D'Agostino, Dartmouth, So.
Waverly Neer, Columbia, Fr.
Alex Banfich, Princeton, Sr.
Katie Kellner, Cornell, Jr.
Genna Hartung, Cornell, Jr.
Caroline McDonough, Columbia, Jr.
Liana Epstein, Yale, So.

Second Team
Elizabeth Marvin, Yale, Jr.
Clare Buck, Columbia, Jr.
Margaret Connelly, Brown, So.
Emily Shearer, Cornell, So.
Devin McMahon, Cornell, So.
Jeanne Mack, Harvard, Sr.
Heidi Caldwell, Brown, So.

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