NEW YORK - After a strong performance at the 2010 Pre-Nationals, the Columbia men's cross country team has garnered national recognition, as the men earned votes in the national coaches poll.The latest national cross country poll in Division I by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) saw Columbia get eight votes for a top 25 ranking.
In Terre Haute, Ind., last weekend, the Lions had strong performances on both the men's and women's side. The men finished ninth overall, with 329 points. Senior Thomas Poland led the way for the Lions, coming in 40th overall in the White Race of 241 runners. Poland came in at 24:27.1, just ahead of senior Brendan Martin, who finished 50th in 24:35.1. They were followed by senior Anthony Merra (71st – 24:47.1), junior Justin Heck (79th – 24:50.8), sophomore Benjamin Veilleux (89th – 24:55.8) and first-year Nico Composto (130th – 25:20.3).
Up next, the Lions will look to host the annual Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. The men's team will be looking to defend the title they won in 2009, while the women have their eyes on their first team title since 2005.
The complete men's and women's USTFCCA polls are available here.