BRONX, N.Y. – The Dartmouth men’s cross country team claimed fifth place at the 2017 Ivy League Heptagonal Championship Friday morning.

Running on the 8K course at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, the Big Green posted 138 points. Princeton and Columbia dueled at the top of the standings all day, but, in the end it was the Tigers who came out on top with 28 points to the Lions’ 43.

It was a pair of seniors atop the leaderboard for Dartmouth on this unseasonably warm day in late October. Will Shafer claimed 19th overall in 25:34.8, while Pat Gregory took 28th in 25:48.0.

Freshman Patrick O'Brien wasn’t long behind Gregory, crossing in 30th with a 25:51.9 to his credit. Junior Benjamin Szuhaj was fourth for the Green and White and 32nd overall, running a 25:55.3, while sophomore Sean Laverty’s 26:00.1 to take 36th rounded out the scoring.

Columbia’s Ryan Thomas was the top male finisher, crossing in 24:57.0, just under two seconds ahead of second-place Noah Kauppila (24:58.7). In all, Princeton had three of the top four runners to aid its championship performance.

Dartmouth was nearly able to jump fourth-place Cornell, but a late-race surge by the Big Red helped keep them in front with a seven-point edge, 131-138.

“We ran our best race of the season today,” Barry Harwick ’77, The Marjorie and Herbert Chase '30 Director of Track & Field and Cross Country, said.We are not satisfied with fifth but we are going in the right direction. I’m very pleased that Will Shafer had the best run of his Dartmouth career in his final cross country Heps.”

1. Princeton – 28
2. Columbia – 43
3. Penn – 91
4. Cornell – 131
5. Dartmouth – 138
6. Yale – 158
7. Brown – 164
8. Harvard – 189