NEW YORK - The Columbia men's track & field team will grow in size this fall, as 19 newcomers are set to begin their career as a Lion.
"We are very excited about the class of 2021," said the Director of Cross Country/Track & Field Daniel Ireland. "With the addition of this class, it will allow our men’s track and field team to be competitive in every track AND field event that is contested during both the indoor and outdoor track seasons. We have brought in athletes that cover areas that we have not had coverage in recently and all of these student athletes should contribute immediately. I am very excited about what our cross country and track and field teams can accomplish in the very near future."
Owen Bishop | Middle Distance | Upland, Calif. | Claremont
Competed in the middle distance events at Claremont High School in California ... A two-time first team all-league selection both on the track and on the cross country course ... A D2 California State Champion in 2016 ... The 1,600m runner-up at the state meet in 2017 ... Recorded personal bests of 49 seconds in the 400m, 1:53 in the 800m, 4:09 in the 1,600m, 8:57 in the 3,200m ... The son of Juliet and Ian Bishop ... Is a British citizen ... Will attend Columbia College.
Aaron Breene | Middle Distance | Wilton, Conn. | Wilton
Took part in cross country and track & field at Wilton High School in Connecticut, earning 11 varsity letters ... Clocked career bests of 1:53.06 in the 800m, 2:31.72 in the 1,000m, 4:15.81 in the mile, and 9:23.51 in the 3,200m ... Also played center forward and left wing on the soccer pitch at Wilton ... The son of Julie and Mark Breen ... Born in Beaconsfield, England ... Intends on studying economics at Columbia College.
Ajax Diamandis | Distance | Rowayton, Conn. | Brien McMahon
A former track & field and cross country runner at Brien McMahon High School in Connecticut ... Claimed eighth place at the 2017 New England Indoor T&F Championships in the 1,000m, and sixth at the 2016 N.E. Outdoor Championships in the 1,600m ... A conference runner-up in the 1,000m during his senior season ... Posted career bests of 2:32.89 in the 1,000m, 4:16.58 in the 1,600m, and 9:37.17 in the 3,200m ... The son of Alexandra and T.G. Diamandis, who played men’s lacrosse at Dartmouth ... Will attend Columbia College.
Dominic Dyer | Distance | George Town, Grand Cayman | Cayman Prep
Standout middle distance and distance runner while attending Cayman Prep and High School in George Town on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands ... Represented the Cayman Islands four times at the CARIFTA Games, where he earned five medals, and twice at the Island Games ... Clocked career bests of 1:56.59 in the 800m, 3:58.80 in the 1,500m, 8:45.60 in the 3,000m ... Holds school records in four different events ... The son of Vanessa and David Dyer ... Plans on studying economics while attending Columbia College.
Solomon Fountain | Distance | Temecula, Calif. | Great Oak
A former track & field and cross country runner at Great Oak High School in California ... Claimed a team league championship and won a pair of league events during his senior season ... Won two CIF Division I Championships, taking the podium at the State Finals ... Clocked career bests of 15:20 in the 5K, 1:52.85 in the 800m, 4:09 in the 1,600m, and 9:19 in the 3,200m ... The son of Vera Davis and Darryl Fountain Sr. ... Will attend Columbia College where he plans on studying biochemistry.
Noah Johnson | Throws | Winter Garden, Fla. | Foundation Academy
Participated in the throws at Foundation Academy in Georgia ... The 1A boys state shot put runner-up in 2016, and a state qualifier in 2015 ... Posted personal bests of 56’1” in the shot put and 147’3” in the discus ... The son of Marva and Stephen Johnson ... Will attend the Fu Foundation School of Engineering & Applied Sciences.
Michael Kelly | Pole Vault | Pasadena, Calif. | Loyola
Competed in the pole vault at Loyola High School of Los Angeles ... Posted a career best of 14’6” during his senior season ... Also participated in football at Loyola ... The son of Katie and Jim Kelly ... Will attend Columbia College, where he plans on studying Economics.
Vasilis Kopanas | Middle Distance | Kifisia, Greece | The Moraitis School
Former 400m and 800m specialist at The Moraitis Schhol in Athens, Greece ... Twice a winner in the 800m at the U-18 Greek Championship, while earning first place in the 600m during the U-16 Greek Championship ... Won the 800m at the High Schools Championship of Greece and Cyprus in 2016, and won the 400m at the private High Schools Championship in 2015 and 2016 ... Posted personal bests of 48.65 in the 400m, 1:22.40 in the 600m, and 1:52.40 in the 800m ... The son of Angeliki Makropoulou and Panagiotis Kopanas ... Plans on studying mathematics at Columbia College.
Vincent Kwok | Sprints/Hurdles | Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | British International School
Participated in hurdles and multi events at the British International School in Vietnam, where he was a three-time team captain ... Holds the U-18 Octathlon and Decathlon records in Vietnam ... An Asian Junior Championship team selection on the 400m relay team ... Owns personal bests of 53.84 in the 400m hurdles, 49.90 in the 400m, and 6,021 points in the decathlon ... The son of Chau My Linh and Micheal Kwok ... Uncle, Quach Cong Lich, is the Vietnam record holder in the 400m and 400m hurdles, while his Aunt, Quach Thi Lan, won silver at the Asian Championships in 2017 ... Will attend Columbia College where he plans to study economics.
Jonathan Lauer | Distance | Centereach, N.Y. | Sachem North
Took part in the distance events while competing for Sachem North High School in Long Island ... A four-time all-state honoree, also earning all-county, all-division, and all-league honors as a prep ... Picked up the 2017 Suffolk County Track Runner of the Year honors ... A seven-time division champion and four-time county champion ... Won the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2017 New York State Championships ... Posted personal bests of 4:20 in the 1,600m, 9:17 in the 3,200m, and 9:14 in the 3,000m Steeplechase ... The son of Alice and Michael Lauer ... Intends to study Physics at Columbia College.
Matt Linder | Jumps | Manalapan, N.J. | Marlboro
A former high jumper at Marlboro High School in New Jersey ... Recorded a personal best of 6’6” during his high school career ... The son of Marcy and Phillip Linder ... Will attend Columbia College where he plans to study economics.
Logan McDaniel | Jumps | Denton, Texas | Denton
Competed in the long jump at triple jump at Denton High School in Texas ... A team captain his final two seasons, posting personal bests of 23’9” in the long jump at 44’9” in the triple jump ... Earned his teams Field Event Athlete of the Year award ... The son of Kim and James McDaniel ... Will attend Columbia College.
Andrew Petersen | Sprints/Hurdles | Demarest, N.J. | Northern Valley Regional
Former hurdler and sprinter at Northern Valley Regional High School in Demarest, New Jersey ... A first team all-league selection and champion in the 55m hurdles and 110m hurdles during his senior campaign ... Has personal bests of 54.40 in the 400m hurdles and 15.26 in the 110m hurdles ... The son of Jeanette Russo-Petersen and Eric Petersen ... Will attend Columbia College where he intends on studying economics.
Jack Pihlkar | Throws | East Northport, N.Y. | Commack
Competed in the throws at Commack High School in Long Island ... Took part in both the indoor and outdoor New Balance Nationals in 2017 ... An All-State honoree in the shotput, taking third place at the state meet ... Owns school records in the shotput, weight throw, and hammer throw ... Posted career bests of 55’0.5” in the shotput, 170’3” in the discus, 65’0.5” in the weight throw, and 187’10” in the hammer throw ... Also played left tackle and defensive end on the Commack football team, earning all-division honors ... The son of Denise and Bob Pihlkar ... Plans on studying mathematics and economics at Columbia College.
Ben Poth | Pole Vault | Spring, Texas | Klein Oak
A former pole vaulter at Klein Oak High School in Texas ... Cleared a career best of 15’6” in the pole vault ... Also played football in high school, where he was an all-district pick at wide receiver and won a district championship his junior season ... The son of Amy and Jeff Poth, who played football at Texas A&M Kingsville ... Brother, Barrett Poth, is a pole vaulter at the University of Texas ... Will attend Columbia College where he plans on studying economics.
Jackson Storey | Middle Distance | Jacksonville, Fla. | Creekside
A five-time state champion while competing in track & field and cross country at Creekside High School in Florida ... Won back-to-back state titles in the 800m his final two seasons, while helping the 4x800m relay team to another state championship ... Ran on two state championship cross country teams from 2015 to 2016 ... Posted personal bests of 49.95 in the 400m, 1:52.59 in the 800m, and 4:18 in the 1,600m ... The son of Heather and Ben Storey ... Had a grandfather run track at Auburn and a great uncle do the same at Tennessee ... Intends to study economics at Columbia College.
Brock Thompson | Sprints | Argyle, Texas | John H. Guyer
Participated in the short sprints at John H. Guyer High School in Texas ... Was a district, area and regional qualifier during his prep career ... Posted personal bests of 10.67 in the 100m and 21.58 in the 200m ... The son of Dana and Brett Thompson ... Both parents played collegiate basketball, with his mother, Dana, playing at Loras College, and her father, Brett playing at Eastern Washington ... Will attend Columbia College.
Gio Trejos | Sprints/Hurdles | Los Angeles, Calif. | Loyola
A former sprinter and hurdler at Loyola High School in California ... Earned Mission League titles in the 110m hurdles and 300m hurdles during his senior season ... Posted career bests of 15.24 in the 110m hurdles and 38.77 in the 300m hurdles ... The son of Margarita and Alvaro Trejos ... Cousin, Crystal Olivia, also attended Columbia ... Plans on studying neuroscience and behavior at Columbia College.
Jemal Vaunado II | Sprints/Hurdles | Canton, Mich. | Canton
Ran the sprint and hurdle races at Canton High School in Michigan ... Set school records in the 60m hurdles, 110 hurdles and 300m hurdles ... Ran in the state championships his final three seasons, with a third place finish in the 300m hurdles during 2016 ... Owns personal bests of 14.86 in the 100m hurdles and 8.91 in the 60m hurdles ... Also a standout swimmer during his high school career ... The son of Charisse Vanuado ... Plans on studying biology at Columbia College.