The Columbia women’s cross-country team will compete in the Toledo Inter-Regional Bubble Buster on Friday, the Lions’ second meet of the season. The women will run the 4,000-meter race against No. 18 Toledo, No. 22 Syracuse, No. 23 San Francisco, and No. 25 West Virginia.
Last year, Columbia finished fourth with 106 points, behind Arkansas, West Virginia, and San Francisco in a challenging eight-team field. While this year's Bubble Buster promises to be just as tough as the last, the Light Blue heads into the meet with a relaxed mentality.
“Going into the meet, the coaches have the goal in mind of practicing for the future,” sophomore distance runner Waverly Neer said. Neer finished in first place at the Vermont Invitational, the team’s first meet of the season, after being sidelined in the spring due to injury. “It was a chance for me to practice race strategy for the rest of the season, and to get the race jitters out,” Neer said.
Low-key meets, as Neer describes them, such as the Vermont Invitational and the Bubble Buster, are only practice runs for the more important meets later on in the season, like the Ivy League Heptagonals and the NCAA Championships. “They’ve got their eyes set on Heps and running well at Nationals. We’ll keep firing on because we’re not trying to peak now,” assistant coach Nicole Blood said.
“All the girls are really coming together,” she added. “Everyone brings something to the table and it keeps things exciting.”