C olumbia’s cross-country revival under coach Willy Wood continues. The Lions achieved a milestone in October when they became the first men's and women's teams from the same school to win the Metropolitan Championships in the same year.

The men’s team was led all year long by Mike Grant ’99 and Tom Kloos ’99 while the women’s squad was paced by Kara Kerr ’00, all of whom achieved All-Ivy first team recognition.

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COMEBACK:Kara Kerr '00, injured last season, achieved All-Ivy first team honors in cross-country.
Columbia’s men’s team, which was expected to be strong, dominated the Mets by placing six runners in the top 10, with Kloos finishing second and Grant third. “It was probably the best overall effort I’ve seen since I’ve been at Columbia,” said Wood, who is in his fifth year as coach.
The women’s team, without any seniors, was bolstered by the return of a healthy Kerr and a promising group of sophomores and first-years. Kerr finished seven seconds behind the individual winner at the Mets and four other Lions finished in the top 20 as the women won their first-ever Met title, edging Rutgers 55-61. Following the Mets, Columbia’s men won the nine-team Iowa State Memorial Classic and the women placed third.

On October 30, Grant became the first Columbia runner to win the Heptagonal Championships with a time of 24:40.3, second-fastest by a Lion on the five-mile course in Van Cortlandt Park. Kloos finished fourth individually while the Lions came in third for the second year in a row, trailing Princeton and Dartmouth. Columbia’s women, perennial last-place finishers, continued their upswing by coming in fifth, beating out Navy, Yale, Harvard and Penn. Kerr finished third overall with a time of 17:57 that was the second-fastest by a Lion on the 5K course and thus became the first Columbia woman to earn All-Ivy cross country honors.

In the NCAA Northeast Regional, Columbia’s men finished fourth and the women came in eighth. Grant placed fourth individually and Kloos also qualified for a trip to the NCAAs by finishing 15th, but Kerr missed out in her bid by finishing 17th in the women’s race. At the NCAA Championships in Lawrence, Kan., Grant came in 94th and Kloos 138th among the 247 runners who competed on the 10K course.

T he volleyball team, hampered by injuries and a short, nine-player roster, compiled a 6-23 overall record and was winless in seven Ivy matches. One bright spot was the Columbia Classic on September 25-26, when the Lions beat Holy Cross, Howard and LIU to win the event. “Winning the Columbia Classic was definitely a highlight for us,” said co-captain Laura Alexander ’99, and Coach Carolyn Elwood noted that the tournament victory created “a feeling we haven’t had on campus for a while.”

Columbia’s field hockey team finished at 4-13, and while that only matched the record of the previous season, team members said it did not reflect improvement that would pay off next season. “There were a lot of games were it could have gone either way,” said defender Tori Henry ’00. “We will have no excuses next season. We won’t be a young team anymore. We’ll have had four years of recruiting, there will be seniors on the team and we are going to put it all together.”

The fall tennis season concluded with the ITA Rolex regional tournaments, in which Scott Watnick ’99 reached the fourth round of the men’s event before losing while Joyce Chang ’02 was beaten in the first round of the women’s event. The spring season is the main focus for the tennis teams, however, and both squads feel the experience gained this fall can only help them in the upcoming season.

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