Women 3rd, Men 4th at Metro Championship


After a week of top performances, the Indoor Track squad did not miss a beat at the Metropolitan Championship. Elizabeth Zanghi/The Fordham Ram

After a week of top performances, the Indoor Track squad did not miss a beat at the Metropolitan Championship. Elizabeth Zanghi/The Fordham Ram
After a week of top performances, the Indoor Track squad did not miss a beat at the Metropolitan Championship. Elizabeth Zanghi/The Fordham Ram

By Bryan Kiel

Following a successful week with school records and Atlantic 10 Conference accolades, the Fordham track team went into the Metropolitan Indoor Championship on a high note. Senior captains Titi Fagade and Lester Taylor both earned A-10 co-performers of the week after setting school records and career best times in Boston during the Terrier Classic on Jan. 30. Fagade and Taylor both led their squads to another strong showing at the Mets. The first day of competition took place at the Lombardi Fieldhouse on Friday, while the second day of competition took place on Saturday at the Armory Track and Field Center in Manhattan.

The Rams had their first competitors on Friday in the field events. Senior Austin Ruiz placed eighth and scored one point in the men’s weight throw with a mark of 13.97m. Sophomore Hailey Serrano and senior Caitlin Hart just missed scoring in the women’s weight throw, with marks of 12.85m and 12.23m, respectively. Freshman Ryan Riviere also scored for Fordham, with a personal best 4.35m in the men’s pole vault, placing fifth overall and scoring four points.

“Coming into the Mets last week, I was determined to break my PR [personal record],” Riviere said. “This past meet marked not only my first PR as a college athlete, but it was also the first time I placed top 10 as a college athlete.”

The second day of competition at the Armory featured most of the team members and some of their best performances of the year. Fagade lead the Rams once again with a win in the 500m, adding 10 points to the women’s team score with a time of 1:13.26. Junior Danielle Rowe and senior captain Kristen Stuart joined Fagade in the top five, adding eight and five points respectively with times of 1:14.72 and 1:14.97. Senior Melissa Higgins ran a career-best 2:58.37 in the 1000m in third place, while fellow senior Mara Lieberman took third in the mile, coming in at 5:01.10. Freshman Merissa Wright took fifth in the 800m, adding four points to the team score with a time of 2:15.84.

The Rams showed their scoring depth in long-distance competition as well. Sophomores Ariana Bottalico and Brianne Roche as well as freshman Shea Williams scored in the 3000m with times of 10:32.18, 10:34.33 and 10:38.36, respectively. In the 5000m, seniors Brianna Tevnan and Sarah Glockenmeier both scored with times of 17:29.48 and 18:30.35. Tevnan lowered her career time in the 5000m by over 90 seconds, while Glockenmeier competed in her first race of the winter season. The relay teams ran well too, taking first, second and third in all three events. The 4×800 team took first with a time of 9:09.49, a season-best. The distance medley relay finished second in 12:25.14, while the 4×400 team took third with a time of 3:55.80.

“The 4×800 team is gearing up for this year,” Higgins, a member of the relay team, said. “We’ve qualified for ECACs and hoping to defend our indoor title.”

The men’s team had a strong meet as well, with an additional four event winners. They were led by Taylor, who won the 1000m run with a time of 2:29.91, adding 10 points to the team score. Both sophomore Ryan McGann and freshman Fritz Heinrich joined Taylor in the event, finishing fifth and sixth with times of 2:34.43 and 2:35.25, respectively.

Freshman Thomas Slattery won the mile run with a time of 4:15.68, and junior Mike Turi won the 5000m event in 14:42.15, an IC4A qualifying time. Freshman Nik O’Brien and senior Jonathan Annelli took fifth and sixth in the 5K run with times of 15:03.31 and 15:24.94. The 3000m run featured junior Quincy O’Connor and sophomore Jake Duckworth, who both ran career-best times of 8:35.86 and 8:46.01, placing fourth and sixth, respectively.

The men’s relay teams also had a strong day. Up first was the distance relay team, which won the event in a time of 10:14.41. Senior Ian Williams, who ran on the relay team, competed in his first indoor event of the season since winning Defensive First Team All-Patriot League in football. The 4×400 relay team placed eighth with a time of 3:33.25, while the 4×800 relay team qualified for the IC4A competition with a time of 7:51.79, good for second place in competition.

Overall, both squads finished in the top five in competition. The women’s team garnered 85 points and finished in third place overall, behind Rutgers and St. John’s. The finish places the team in a similar position to where it was a year ago. Still, the team sees a stronger lineup that will carry it to even better places in the future.

“I think we have more depth in the shorter distances now thanks to the freshman class,” said Roche. “The distance group in the 3K ran pretty well. [The meet] showed us what we can work on as we head into the last few meets of the season.”

The men’s team also finished in the top five in competition, coming in fourth overall with 82 points. With some great times and IC4A qualifications, the men’s team showed its freshman class can contribute in many different events.

The track team will continue its indoor season in Boston, where it will run in the Valentine’s Day Classic on Feb. 13 and 14.