NEW ORLEANS -- Columbia Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Willy Wood was named the 2012 Indoor Track & Field Northeast Region Women's Coach of the Year by the USTFCCCA on Monday.
In his 18th season leading the program, Wood led Columbia to new heights this winter. The Columbia women won 2012 Ivy League Heptagonal Indoor Track & Field title for the first time in school history. The Lions had 19 point scorers at Heps and enjoyed six first-place finishes to tally 124 team points and run away with the conference championship. The Columbia men also placed an impressive third despite not fielding entries in many of the events.
In January, the Columbia women also won their first Metropolitan Championships team title at The Armory, totaling 156 team points and seven first-place showings.
Columbia first-year Waverly Neer qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 3,000m when she hit the auto standard with a time of 9:08.72 at the Boston University Valentine Invitational. That time is currently the fourth-best in the nation. Fellow first-year Nadia Eke had one of the best triple jumps in the nation when she cleared 42' 4.25" (12.91m) at Indoor Heps. That mark is currently tied for 19th in the country.
This winter, the Columbia women set five new program records. Neer set new marks in the mile (4:41.92, New Balance Collegiate Invitational) and the 3,000m (9:08.72, Boston University Valentine Invitational). Marvellous Iheukwumere ran a blazing 60m dash in 7.56 at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational for a new school benchmark. Uju Ofoche set the new long jump record of 20' 0.25" (6.10m) at the Metropolitan Championships. Eke set the new triple jump mark at 42' 4.25" (12.91m) at Indoor Heps.