NEW YORK— The Columbia Women’s Cross Country captured its first Ivy League Heptagonal team championship since 2005 and Ryan Thomas won the individual Ivy Championship in a wild morning at Van Cortlandt Park.

The Women’s Cross Country team became the first ever squad to finish first after finishing last in the previous year at Heps. The men’s team finished second behind four All-Ivy performances.

“It’s a tribute to what the girls have done,” Coach Daniel Ireland said. “We sat in the tent a year ago at Princeton after we didn’t run well and we were really disappointed. I told them right then if were going to do better next year it starts then.”

That message resonated. Today, Nell Crosby led the way for the Lions, as she has done all season long in fourth place at 21:15. Crosby was named first team All-Ivy. Senior Erin Melly finished in 14th place at 21:32.9 and earned second team All-Ivy nod.

The women’s team defined what it means to run as a team at today’s Heps. The Lions owned 14th place- 18th place.

Sophomore Fiona Danieu came in 15th when she crossed the line at 21:34.3. Junior Erin Gregoire was right behind her at 21:35.7.

Sophomore Bianca Alonzo was in 17th place at 21:41.5 and senior Sarah Hardie was three seconds behind her in 18th at 21:44.3. Sophomore Abigail McLaughlin came in 37th at 22:17.1 to round out Columbia’s seven scorers.

“Our level of what we expect here is a top-three finish, but we always shoot to win,” Ireland said. “The girls knew that.”

On the men’s side, Ryan Thomas crossed the finish line first with a wide smile and arms spread out, en route to leading Columbia men’s cross country to a second place team finish. The senior came across at 24:57.0.

Thomas was one of four Lions to earn All-Ivy recognition. Kenny Vasbinder finished in fifth place at 25:05.5 and earned first team All-Ivy. Brian Zabilski joined him with a first-team nod in seventh place at 25:09.0

Lucky Schreiner crossed the line just behind Zabilski at 25:10.4 in eighth place for a second team All-Ivy selection.

Dylan Tarpey was Columbia’s fifth finisher in twenty-third place at 25:41.8.  Aidan Goltra placed 35th at 25:58.1 and Dominic Dyer crossed the line at 26:15.0 in 47th place as Columbia’s seventh runner.

The Lions will celebrate today but then refocus because the cross country season continues. Columbia will head to NCAA Regionals in Buffalo on Friday, November 10th looking to secure individual and team spots at the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday, November 18th.