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NEW YORK – The exciting 2013 campaign of the No. 8 Columbia men's cross-country team will reach its climax this weekend on the ultimate stage at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country National Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. on Saturday, Nov. 23. One of the most historic journeys in program history will look to go out with a bang this season as they compete against the nation’s best.
The 76th annual Men's Cross Country NCAA National Championships will be hosted by Indiana State at the LaVern Gibson National Championship Cross Country Course. The men's 10k-race will start at approximately 12:00 p.m., followed by the women's 6k-race.
Thirty-one teams were selected to participate in each championship. The top two, seven-person teams automatically qualified from each of the nine regions for a total of 18 teams. An additional 13 teams were selected at-large.
For the second straight season, Columbia raced to a runner-up finish at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Northeast Regional Championships to earn the automatic national bid. The Lions placed three runners in the top-10 and tallied 78 points to trail only No. 14 Syracuse.
Senior Jacob Sienko led three top-10 Columbia finishers crossing the line in sixth place with a time of 30:24.3. Junior Daniel Everett finished ninth place at 30:28.3 and just a step behind was teammate Nicolas Composto in 10th place at 30:28.3. John Gregorek also added a top-25 finish for the squad with a 23rd-place time of 30:45.6. Sienko, Everett, Composto and Gregorek each earned NCAA All-Region honors behind their impressive runs.
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The women's 6k race at the Northeast Regional’s saw another standout performance from Columbia with a strong fourth-place finish from junior Waverly Neer. Neer grinned and battled with the front pack throughout the race to punch her ticket to the 2013 NCAA National Championships with a time of 20:01.8. The Northeast All-Region honoree will join 38 of the nation’s top runners that will compete for the individual crown.