HepsXC — Columbia Women

Emily Lanois by Gene Boyars

Well, let’s begin the previews with the bad news. After showing so much promise at the Toledo Bubblebuster, the Lions have been plagued with injuries. Columbia vaulted to 23rd nationally after Toledo but — now without the services of sophomore Waverly Neer (Russiaville, Ind.) and senior Caroline McDonough (Darien, Conn.) — the Lions are not in position to battle for the League title. Neer was second to Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino in the snow last year while McDonough was the runner-up the year before that. Both have been to the NCAA Championships and run among the nation’s top 50.

So new coach Nicole Blood will turn to group of experienced seniors for the League championships. That core includes Erin Gillingham (Solana Beach, Calif.), who was fifth in Toledo, Mallory Anderson (Madison, N.J.), who won the Metropolitan Championships, Emily Lanois (South Hamilton, Mass.), the team’s top finisher at Wisco, Clare Buck (Pennington, N.J.) and Noelle Van Rysselberghe (Portland, Ore.). Youthful support could come from sophomore Aryn Foland (Mira Costa, Calif.) and freshman Olivia Sadler (Bristol, England). — Brett Hoover

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