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Columbia Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Willy Wood (top center) and the Lions cross country teams are seeing their strong showing at the 2011 Ivy League Heptagonal Championships pay off as both teams have moved up in the USTFCCCA Coaches Polls.
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Gene Boyars

Cross Country Men's And Women's Teams Move Up In Latest USTFCCCA Coaches' Poll

Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics
          Release: 11/01/2011
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NEW YORK - Coming off strong showings in Saturday's snow-bombarded 2011 Ivy League Cross Country Heptagonal Championships, the Columbia men's and women's cross country teams both moved up in their respective USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Cross Country National Coaches' Polls.

The Columbia men jumped up six spots to No. 22 after taking second place in the league championship at Princeton's West Windsor Fields. The Lions' men have been ranked in the USTFCCA top 30 for five straight weeks.

Senior Kyle Merber took second overall at the 2011 Heps with a time of 24:47.7 in the men's 8K and was selected to the All-Ivy First Team. Junior Mike Murphy (eighth, 25:25.8), sophomore Nic Composto (ninth, 25:13.8) and junior Ben Veilleux (14th, 25:25.8) garnered second team All-Ivy honors.

The Columbia women received 14 votes to technically rank No. 32 in the nation. This marks the fourth week that the Lions' women have received votes this year.

The Columbia women also had a big day at the 2011 Heps, taking second place and finishing just two points out of first. First-year Waverly Neer led the way for the Lions, taking second overall in the women's 6K with a time of 22:02.7. Neer and junior Caroline McDonough (sixth, 22:15.5) were selected to the All-Ivy First Team. Junior Clare Buck (ninth, 22:30.0) earned second-team All-Ivy honors.

Both Lions teams are preparing for the NCAA Northeast Regionals on Nov. 12 at Audubon Golf Course in Amherst, N.Y.

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