NEW YORK - The Columbia men's cross country and track & field team will welcome 15 new team members for the 2013-14 season, with the arrival of the class of 2017.
Joining the Lions will be:
Sami Aziz – Distance
Jack Baisley – Distance
Jack Boyle – Distance
Alexander Brown – Distance
Ronald Busby – Middle Distance
Dominic Facciolla – Distance
Alexander Freemantle – Middle Distance
Jonah Hanig – Middle Distance/Distance
Dakota Leazer – Hurdles
Jack Macauley - Middle Distance/Distance
Robert Napolitano – Middle Distance/Distance
Max Norris – Distance
Keenan Piper – Middle Distance/Distance
Chirs Pohlot – Distance
Benjamin Ritz - Middle Distance/Distance
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pa.
High School: Germantown Friends School
PR: 4:19.0 – 1600m, 9:14.0 – 3200m
Aziz comes to Columbia as a seasoned distance runner. He has spent most of his early career as part of the cross country and track teams at Germantown Friends School, earning 10 varsity letters. Aziz is a two-time all-league performer in cross country and track. In his senior season he went on to earn second team all-region honors in cross country.
High School: Holmdel High School
Hometown: Holmdel, N.J.
PR: 1:59.0 – 800m, 4:17.0 – 1600m, 9:13.0 – 3200m
Baisley ran to a state championship in the 3200m his senior season. He was part of the Group 2 distance medley relay state champion squad in 2013 and set school records in the 3200m, 5000m, 3000m, and 4x800 relay. As a team captain, he helped lead his team to a Group 2 state championship in cross country in 2011 and 2012. He also garnered first-team honors in All-Group 2, All-Shore Conference and All-Monmouth County in 2012.
High School: Christian Brothers High School
Hometown: Avon-By-The-Sea, N.J.
PR: 1:59.69 – 800m, 4:17.52 – 1600m, 8:26.74 – 3000m, 8:55.94 – 3200m
A two-time cross country honorable mention All-American, Boyle was one of the top distance runners in the Northeast. He earned first team All-Northeast honors in cross country in both his junior and senior seasons to go along with all-state honors as well. Boyle was a part of a Christian Brothers team that set a number of course records around the Northeast and on the National Championship course. The Colts finished in the top five at the Cross Country National Championships in three straight seasons, highlighted by a 2011 National Championship victory.
High School: Columbus Academy
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
PR: 4:15.14 – 1600m, 1:53.59 – 800m
Facciolla consistently ran against Ohio’s best in his career at Columbus Academy. He was a member of the 2013 OHSAA State Champion 4x400 relay squad and a member of the two-time 4x800m relay championship squads, capturing titles in 2011 and 2012. As captain in his junior and senior seasons he helped lead the team to back-to-back Track & Field Ohio State Championships.
Hometown: Ontario, Canada
High School: Sacred Heart CHS
PR: 1:52.24 – 800m, 3:48.43 – 1500m
As one of the best athletes in Canada, Freemantle will bring his talents to the Lions this season. He is a four-time Canadian champion in the 800m, 1200m, the sprint medley relay in 2010 and again in the 800m in 2012. He is also four-time Provincial Champions, with three in the 800m run and the other in the 1500m run. Freemantle is a two-time Athletics Ontario Middle Distance Athlete of the Year, earning the honor in 2010 and 2012. He was a member of the Canadian Legion’s Team Ontarion in 2010 and Team Canada’s World Youth squad in 2011.
High School: Highland Park High School
Hometown: Highland Park, IL
PR: 55.9 – 400m, 4:14.9 – 1600m, 9:10.0 – 3200m,
A two-time Illinois All-State honoree in cross country and track, Hanig is a five-time state qualifier. A team captain as a senior, Hanig is a three-time track & field all-conference honoree and a three-time all-regional cross country honoree. He was named Highland Park High School Outstanding Male Athlete in 2013 and was voted 2011 and 2012 Cross Country MVP.
Hometown: Fountain, CO
High School: Fountain Fort Carson High School
PR: 14.54 – 110m Hurdles, 37.48 – 300m Hurdles, 49.80 – 400m
Leazer is a two-time state champion in the 300m hurdles, taking the crown in 2011 and 2013. Following his senior season he was named a 2013 Pikes Peak All-American and selected to the 2013 Milesplit All-Colorado team. On his way to becoming a three-time all-state honoree in 2013, Leazer was also the state runner-up in the 110m hurdles. While at Fountain Fort Carson, he helped lead his team to consecutive 5A State Championship titles in 2010 and 2011.
High School: North Penn High School
Hometown: North Wales, Pa.
PR: 1:57.4 – 800m (split), 4:18.0 – 1600m, 9:15.0 – 3200m, 15:26 – 5K
The four-time letterwinner in both cross country and track was a consistent top performer for the North Penn Knights. In cross country, he was a three-time first team All-Suburban One League honoree, a two-time first team All-District honoree and a first team all-state honoree in his senior season. The two-time team MVP helped lead his team to a 2011 PIAA 3A State Championship title. He was also the Suburban One League champion in the 3200m in the same year.
High School: Red Bank Catholic
Hometown: Red Bank, New Jersey
PR: 49.7 – 400m, 1:53.6 – 800m, 4:10.6 – 1600m, 8:37.0 – 3000m
Napolitano was named team captain for both his junior and senior seasons in cross country and track & field at Red Bank Catholic. He earned first team all-county, first team all-conference and first team all-state honors in cross country as a senior.
On the track, Napolitano won the New Jersey Meet of Champions in both indoor and outdoor 1600m run in his final season. He compiled first team all-county, first team all-conference and first team all-state honors in outdoor track as well. Napolitano’s senior season was a huge build on his junior season when he was named first team all-county, first team all-conference and second team all-state in cross country, indoor and outdoor track.
High School: Harriton High School
Hometown: Narberth, PA
PR: 4:12.74 – 1600m, 8:25.62 – 3000m
Norris is a four-time letterwinner in both cross country and track & field. He is a indoor track All-American in the 5000m and an indoor state champion in the 3000m. Norris clocked in with Pennsylvania’s third best finish in history at 8:28.93 to win the 3000m 2012 state indoor championship.
A three-time Athlete of the Year at Harriton High School and a three-time Central League Champion, he was also named first team All-Northeast and first team all-state. Norris has had stellar runs in his career including a first place at Penn Relays Championship of America in the 3000m. He holds seven school records including the 1600m, Mile, 3000m, 3200m, 5000, and in the 4x800m and DMR relays. He also holds a 17th-place finish at the Footlocker National Cross Country Championships to his accolades as well.
High School: Seattle Preparatory
Hometown: Seattle, WA
PR: 4:20.0 – 1600m, 9:19.0 – 3200m, 15:38.0 – 5k
As team captain in his senior season in cross country and outdoor track, Piper won the district championship in the 3200m and is the freshman record holder in the event. He is a four-time state championship qualifier in cross country and a six time qualifier in track.
Hometown: Jenkintown, PA
High School: Germantown Academy
PR: 52.2 – 400m, 1:54.41 – 800m, 4:12.53 – 1600m, 9:07.30 – 3200m, 4:13.84 - Mile
Ritz was named first team all-state in cross country in both 2011 and 2012 seasons. He is also a two-time first team INTER-AC League honoree in outdoor track and was named first team All-INTER-AC in cross country in 2011. Ritz finished as the runner-up in the 3200m at the PAISSA State Championships in 3200m and the runner-up at the cross country PAISSA State Championships.