Heps Results To Be Posted HERE

Inside Columbia Athletics Episode 3: Coach Wood previews Heps

NEW YORK - On Saturday, the Columbia men's and women's cross country teams head down to Princeton, N.J., to compete in the 2011 Ivy League Heptagonal Cross Country Championships at West Windsor Fields.

The men's 8K race starts at 11 a.m. and the women's 6K starts at noon. The awards ceremony will follow at 1 p.m.

Fans can make their way down to Princeton to cheer on the Lions on the free fan bus, which will leave from 116th and Amsterdam at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. The bus will depart after the awards ceremony. Fans should locate the Columbia representative to find out when the bus is departing from Princeton.

After taking third place at last year's Heps, the No. 28 Columbia men's team is poised for a strong showing on Saturday as it has shined in its biggest races of 2011.

The men opened the season with a dominating team victory in a tri-meet with Vermont and St. Michael's on Sept. 9, with 15 of the top 16 finishers. Three weeks later, the Lions bolted up to No. 18 in the USTFCCCA Division I Men's Cross Country National Coaches' Poll after taking third in the 8K Men's Gold race of the Paul Short Run Presented by Brooks on Sept. 30. Columbia finished ahead of four ranked teams and placed three runners in the top 30 in junior Spencer Leighton and Mike Murphy and senior Kyle Merber.


Kyle Merber, Senior

- Member of 2009 Ivy championship team

- Finished eighth at 2009 Heps

- Two-time second-team All-Ivy

- 2009 All-Northeast Region

- Has Columbia's fastest 8K time this year: 24:26.6

Mike Murphy, Junior

- Member of 2009 Ivy championship team

- Has Columbia's second-fastest 8K time this year: 24.41.5




On Oct. 14, the Lions' top runners competed in the Wisconsin adidas Invitational against some of the best teams in the country. Columbia took 18th out of a loaded 39-team field and finished ahead of nine teams represented in the latest USTFCCCA Coaches Poll, including five ranked teams. Merber led the Lions with a 44th-place showing and his best 8K time of the fall (24:26.6).

The Columbia women took second place at the 2010 Heps with Caroline McDonough finishing second and Jackie Drouin placing third to earn first team All-Ivy honors.

The Columbia women have also had a strong 2011 season. Like the men, the women took a convincing team victory in a tri-meet against Vermont and Saint Michael's on Sept. 9, accounting for five of the top seven finishers. The Lions followed that with a fourth-place showing in the 2011 Toledo Bubble Buster, finishing ahead or then-No. 29 Toledo and major programs Baylor and Ohio State. Juniors McDonough and Clare Buck posted top 10 finishes in the race.

In the tough Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Oct. 14, McDonough led the team with a 52nd-place finish out of 305 runners. First-year Waverly Neer ran a great race and was second on the team with a 72nd-place showing.


Caroline McDonough, Junior

- Finished Second at 2010 Heps

- Named 2010 first team All-Ivy

- Qualified for 2010 NCAA Championships

- Has Columbia's top 6K time this year: 20:56.1

Waverly Neer, First-Year

- Has Columbia's second-fastest 6K time this year: 21:06.2