Senior Titi Fagade was the highlight of the day for the women’s team. One of Fordham’s top runners, Fagade broke two school records in the 800 meter run and 200 meter dash. In the 800, Fagade finished in seventh place with a time of 2:07.12. Among collegiate runners, she placed second, a hundredth of a second behind Syracuse’s Molly Malone. Fagade’s time of 25.28 was good for 26th place in the 200. These two school records add to Fagade’s total of 11 for her career.
A strong team effort supported Fagade. Among the top finishers were fellow senior Anisa Arsenault, whose time of 5:03.40 was top among Fordham runners in the mile. Senior Christina Vivinetto followed with a time of 5:12.79, and freshman Ariana Bottalico rounded out the top three with a time of 5:16.99. Junior Mara Lieberman placed 69th out of 120 in the 3000 meter run with a time of 10:06, and junior Kristen Staurt placed 37th out of 168 in the 400 meter run with a time of 58.28. To round out the day, sophomore Danielle Rowe and junior Melissa Higgins joined Staurt and Fagade for the 4×400 meter run with a time of 3:54.44.
The men competed on Saturday and faced the same level of competition the women did the previous day. Junior Jonathan Annelli led the Rams in the mile with a time of 4:13.03, an IC4A qualifying run, putting him in 62nd place in competition. Senior Sean Collins was Fordham’s top finisher in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:56.17. Senior Ryan Polo led the Rams in the 1000 meter run with a time of 2:29.89, placing 23rd in competition. Junior Lester Taylor finished under three seconds later, in 2:32.72, but still placed 22 spots behind in 45th place. Junior Austin Ruiz was Fordham’s top field competitor. He placed 24th in the shot put with a mark of 46′ 2″ and 40th in the weight throw with a distance of 40′ 4 ¼.”
Though finishing in 30th place or beyond might seem unimpressive, the Rams’ performance has been very strong as of late. Large meets like the Valentine Invitational introduce Fordham to some of the top competition on the East Coast and provide a challenge in saturated races.
“We’ve all been working extremely hard,” Bottalico said. “It’s nice to see that all the time and effort is paying off. I think the team has proven that we work well under pressure and that we all are expecting big things from ourselves.”
The Rams will prove themselves next in the A-10 championship, which will take place at the University of Rhode Island in two weeks.