NEW ORLEANS - Columbia senior Ryan Thomas picked up NCAA Cross Country National Athlete of the Week honors, announced today by the USTFCCCA.

A native of Charlottesville, Virginia, Thomas kicked strong through the finish line to take the tape at the Paddy Doyle Meet of Champions hosted by Iona. The win for the senior was the first of his career, and topped his previous best fourth place finish in a collegiate race. His time of 25:31 was also impressive during muggy conditions at Van Cortlandt Park.

Thomas topped Iona’s Jack O’Leary by two seconds in leading Columbia to a team victory. Thomas also bested Arkansas’ Alex George and Cameron Griffith, both of whom finished inside the top-50 at last year’s NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. In the past year, Thomas has impressed on the track as well, qualifying for the NCAA East Prelims in the 5,000m run, an event he was victorious in during the 2017 Outdoor Heps.

This is the first time a Columbia cross country athlete has won a National Athlete of the Week award.