Track Breaks Two Records at Valentine’s Day Classic


Records continue to fall for Fordham’s Lester Taylor this season. Joshua Kim/The Fordham Ram

By Bryan Kiel

The men’s and women’s track teams ran in the Valentine’s Day Classic in Boston this past weekend. It was the last meet before the Atlantic 10 competition, and both teams were in top form. The women’s team competed in seven total events, while the men’s team competed in nine, including two field events. Overall, Fordham posted two new school records and four IC4A qualifications.

The women’s team was the first to compete on Friday, and began with a record-breaking relay performance. Senior captains Kristen Stuart and Titi Fagade, junior Danielle Rowe and freshman Merissa Wright combined their talents to finish fourth overall in the 4×400 relay with a time of 3:47.50, .05 seconds below the record set last season. Fagade competed in the 800m as well, where she placed sixth overall with a time of 2:08.93, while Rowe and Higgins finished at 2:14.59 and 2:16.85, respectively. Stuart competed in the 400m run and finished in a season-best time of 57.79, backed up by freshmen Laura Jaeger and Kylie Farrell with times of 59.50 and 1:00.42, respectively.

The women’s team continued the evening with some more impressive times in the middle and long distance events. Wright qualified for ECAC competition in the 500m run with a time of 1:15.87, 17th overall. Fordham featured four runners in a heavy field of competitors in the mile run.

Senior Brianna Tevnan came out on top with a time of 5:06.16, with senior captain Sarah Glockenmeier and sophomores Ariana Bottalico and Brianne Roche all less than 20 seconds behind her. Senior Mara Lieberman finished 14th overall in the 1000m run with a time of 2:55.36. She was backed up by sophomore Shanna Heaney, who is competing for the first time since the spring of 2014. She finished the 1000m in a time of 3:01.81, 50th overall.

“I’ve had stress fractures in both legs that kept me out of most of my freshman year,” Heaney said. “Now in my second year I’m finally getting back into it, staying healthy and competing.”

The men’s team had another great day, and it was once again led by senior captain Lester Taylor. Taylor, a native of the Bahamas, ran 12th overall in the 500m run with a time of 1:04.69 and broke his own 800m school record with a time of 1:49.65, good for sixth. Taylor’s accomplishments were not over, however. His 800m time qualified him for the 2015 Pan American Games this July in Toronto. Joining Taylor in the 500m was freshman Louis Santelli, who ran a 1:05.08 for 19th place and qualified for IC4A competition in the process. Daniel Green ran in both the 500 and 800 events, and he finished with 1:07.37 and 1:58.87, respectively.

Senior sprinter Ian Williams ran in both the 60m dash and 200m dash, with times of 7.08 and 22.44 seconds, respectively. The final two IC4A runners of the day inclued freshman Thomas Slattery and senior Jon Annelli. Slattery placed 17th in the 1000m run with a time of 2:28.47, while Annelli took 37th in the mile with a time of 4:08.38, missing his personal best by two tenths of a second. The 4×400 team, consisting of Santelli, junior Yehia Fahmy, sophomore Devin Rocks and freshman Brian Cook took 44th overall with a time of 3:29.28.

Finally, senior Austin Ruiz placed 24th in the shot put with a mark of 14.38m, while freshman Ryan Riviere tied for 30th in a very competitive pole vaulting field, reaching a height of 4.10m.

With a few days left till the A-10 championship, the team is preparing to perform at its best. Besides a hard run at the beginning of the week, Roche said, “it will just be light distance and drills to stay fresh for the meet, as it is the most important meet of the season for most of us.”

With many of Fordham’s top runners slimming down their times, the team has the potential to do very well at A-10s.

“A-10s has all the potential to go very well for both the women’s and men’s teams,” Tevnan said. “If we perform as we have trained and run strategically and confidently then we could place pretty high.”

The meet will begin at 9 a.m. this Saturday Feb. 21 at the University of Rhode Island.


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