Men’s Cross Country Victorious at IC4A Championship

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Men’s Cross Country Victorious at IC4A Championship

Cross country earned its second straight IC4A Championship last weekend. Courtesy of Shanna Heany

Cross country earned its second straight IC4A Championship last weekend. Courtesy of Shanna Heany

Cross country earned its second straight IC4A Championship last weekend. Courtesy of Shanna Heany

Cross country earned its second straight IC4A Championship last weekend. Courtesy of Shanna Heany

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Cross country earned its second straight IC4A Championship last weekend. Courtesy of Shanna Heany

Cross country earned its second straight IC4A Championship last weekend. Courtesy of Shanna Heany

By Bryan Kiel

The cross country team wrapped up its season on Nov. 22 at the ECAC/IC4A Championship meet at Van Cortlandt Park. The race, which featured Division I teams throughout the Northeast, consisted of three sections: the coach- es race, the university division championships and the ECAC and IC4A Championships. Four Rams competed in the women’s coaches race, while the rest of the women’s squad ran in the ECAC university division championship, finishing seventh out of 18 teams. The men’s squad ran in the IC4A university division, and placed first out of 16 teams for the second straight year.

The first race of the day was the women’s coaches race. While Fordham did not field a full team to compete for points, four Rams still ran in the 5K race. Freshman Julia Champagne led the Rams with a time of 20:38, coming in ninth overall. Junior Tara Cangialosi was just one second behind in 10th place, while junior Melanie Notarstefano came in 12th with a time of 20:44. Sophomore Josephine Jacob-Dolan had a strong showing as well, placing 22nd overall and breaking her own record with a time of 21:24.

The rest of Fordham’s women ran in the ECAC university divi- sion championships. Of a squad of 10 runners, senior Brianna Tevnan again led the team with a time of 18:32, good for eighth overall. Tevnan was followed by sophomore Arianna Bottalico, who ran a season-best 19:10 and came in 31st place. Bottalico continued to drop her time after coming back from injury earlier in the season. Fresh- man Brynna Harum finished her strong rookie cross country season with a time of 19:24, senior Mara Lieberman finished the season with a time of 19:33 and sophomore Brianne Roche finished with a time of 19:39.

While the Rams finished in the top half of competing teams, the team overall had mixed results.

“Myself and a few other girls felt pretty strong and were able to work hard through the hills and all the way down the home stretch,” said Roche. “But, some girls were also feeling tired from the long season and weren’t as prepared for the back hills, since we haven’t raced them since Mets over a month ago.”

Bottalico noted the importance of the race to the many senior runners. “Cross country is a very long season but we all pushed through this last race and gave it our all,” she said. “It was an emotional day, as we have a lot of seniors graduating this year.”

Seniors who competed in this race include Tevnan, Lieberman, Danielle Drummond, Jillian Brooks and co-captains Melissa Higgins and Sarah Glockenmeier. This will be the end of their cross country seasons, but the two can look forward to two more seasons of track during the indoor and out- door track seasons.

The men’s team competed in its portion of the meet, the IC4A University Division Championship. Fordham has had strong history in this race, with a win last year and two previous individual winners in current senior Jon Annelli and 2011 graduate Julian Saad. With Annelli out due to injury, junior Mike Turi led the Rams to their second straight victory in the last meet of the season. He joined Annelli and Saad as the third individual champion from Fordham in four years, coming in with a time of 25:46 in the 8K race.

Fellow junior Quincy O’Connor and freshman Thomas Slattery joined Turi in the top 10, coming in third and fourth with times of 2:52 and 2:54, respectively. Freshman Nik O’Brien came in 15th overall with a time of 26:22, and sophomore Jake Duckworth came in 29th with a time of 26:47. By placing three runners in the top five, Fordham set itself up for a team win against the likes of Marist College, Monmouth University and Fairfield University.

The end of this season marks preparation for the winter season. From a cross country perspective, the men’s team will be in an even better position than they are this year. Annelli, the only senior in the top six, will have one more year of eligibility left, as he sat out the majority of the season due to injury. Tevnan, Bottalico, Roche, Harum, and injured sophomore Shanna Heaney will also return for the women. The indoor season, however, starts Dec. 5 when Fordham hosts the Christmas classic.