NAMPA, Idaho -- For the second time this school year, Columbia first-year standout Waverly Neer proudly represented the Lions on the national stage, competing on Saturday night at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships at Jacksons Indoor Track in Nampa, Idaho. Racing against her fellow top distance runners in the women's 3,000m, Neer took 15th place.
The Russiaville, Ind., native ran a strong race, hanging near the top eight for the majority of the race while being careful not to get boxed in. With four laps to go, traffic in the middle of the pack caused Neer to get tripped up and break her stride. She finished in a time of 9:33.32.
"It was very unfortunate that Waverly was tripped with 600m to go as she was in very good position and was looking great," Columbia Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Willy Wood said. "Although tonight was disappointing, I have no doubt that she is going to experience great success on the national level in track very soon."
Neer has had a remarkable school year to date. In the fall, she competed in the 2011 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. She was the top first-year finisher, placing 40th (20:30.4) out of 244 runners to earn USTFCCCA All-American honors. Prior to that, she had earned USTFCCCA All-Region honors and was a first-team All-Ivy League selection after taking second place at the 2011 Ivy League Heptagonal Cross Country Championships amid snowy conditions.
This winter, Neer made her mark in the Columbia history books, qualifying for the NCAAs in the 3,00m by clocking a 9:08.72 at the Boston University Valentine Invitational on Feb. 10. That time broke the school record set by former Honda Award winner Caroline Bierbaum in 2005 by nearly 10 seconds. Neer also set the new school record in the mile with a time of 4:41.92 at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational. That time broke she program mark set by Jacqueline Drouin in 2010 by nearly four seconds.
Neer looks to continue on her path of success as she sets her sights on the Lions' outdoor season, which starts later this month.