Women’s Cross-Country Wins Ivy Heps Title

Columbia’s women’s cross country team took the crown in the Ivy League Heptagonal Championships on October 27 in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. It was Columbia’s first women’s team title since 2005 and the first time that a team vaulted from last place to first in the league in the course of one year. The Lions earned their first berth in the NCAA Championships since 2005 and finished 28th of 31 teams to qualify.

Women’s cross country team

Women’s cross country earned its first Ivy Heps title in more than a decade.

Mike McLaughlin / Columbia Athletics

“It’s a tribute to what the girls have done,” said Coach Daniel Ireland, who was chosen the Ivy League women’s Coach of the Year. “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 we’re going to do better next year, it starts now.’”

Nell Crosby ’18 led the way in the six-kilometer race for the Lions, finishing fourth. After that it was a team effort as runners Erin Melly ’18, Fiona Danieu ’20, Erin Gregoire ’19, Bianca Alonzo ’20 and Sarah Hardie ’18 crossed the finish line 14th through 18th. Crosby was named to the All-Ivy first team and Melly to the second team.

On the men’s side, Ryan Thomas ’18 won the individual championship as the Lions finished second behind Princeton in the team competition. Thomas completed the five-mile race in 24:57, 1.7 seconds ahead of Noah Kauppila of Princeton, the first of three Tigers who finished second through fourth. Thomas was named to the All-Ivy first team along with Kenny Vasbinder ’20, who finished fifth, and Brian Zabilski ’19, who came in seventh. Lucky Schreiner ’19 crossed the line in eighth place to earn All-Ivy second team honors.