On Saturday, Sept. 19, the men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the LIU Post Invitational in Brookville, New York. The meet was mainly for freshmen, but some upperclassmen middle distance runners were involved as well. The Fordham men and women were the only Division I athletes there, guaranteeing them first place finishes and team titles.
“Today went great for the team,” freshman Kate McCormack said. “I am looking forward to a successful season.”
The women’s team competed extremely well on Saturday, with multiple finishers in the top 20 spots for their 5K race. With a time of 20:19.15, Fordham freshman Laurel Fisher came in nineteenth behind senior Rachel Picard, who came in thirteenth with a time of 19:55.92.
A number of runners from St. Thomas Aquinas, Pace University and New York Institute of Technology finished in the eighth to 12th place spots, behind Ram freshman Kieran Hanrahan, who came in seventh with a time of 19:07.03.
McCormack was the second Ram to cross the finish line, with a time of 18:38.91, putting her in fourth place. Though first place went to New York Institute of Technology’s Sarah Jerotich, Fordham grabbed second with a strong run by freshman Angelina Grebe, who crossed the finish line just one second after Jerotich with a time of 18:07.01.
The men’s team also yielded great results from their 8K race. Sophomore Fritz Heinrich came in thirtieth out of over one hundred runners with a time of 29:07.41. Sophomore Michael Campbell finished 25th with a time of 28:25.15, while freshman Jerome Vessichio at 28:12.39 came in 21st. Rounding out the top 20 was sophomre Byrne Cronin, who finished 16th with a time of 27:57.65. Sophomore Phil Robbins, coming in 13th with a time of 27:50.23 and freshman Patrick Dineen, ending in 11th place with a time of 27:34.52. Junior Ryan McGann finished in the top 10, with his time of 27:17.57 placing him in ninth.
Sophomore Louis Santelli was the first Ram to cross the finish line with a time of 26:25.48. He came in fourth behind two runners from Molloy College and one runner from Dominican College.
Overall, the invitational was a successful one for Fordham. The freshmen runners were competing in a collegiate race for the first time. This was the perfect meet to get them started and prepared for the rest of the season. In the long distance races the runners tended to run in groups, which allowed the Fordham team to support each other and push each other for a good portion of the race.
“I am looking forward to a great season with the team. It was great running with teammates for the first half of the race; we really carried each other through,” freshman Kieran Hanrahan said. “The team did great, and we were all happy to get our season started.”
The Fordham cross country team has been practicing for all their meets and events, and will continue to do so. However, this meet gave the freshmen a glimpse of the future, and allowed them to see how much hard work and dedication pay off. They now know what to expect, and how to push themselves even farther next time.
“The meet at LIU Post went very well, with Fordham taking home the win. It was definitely a confidence boost for the team, and will make us work even harder toward succeeding in future meets,” freshman Angelina Grebe said. “I managed to beat my previous personal best by 33 seconds, which felt almost unreal and made me feel as though all my hard work had paid off. I’m looking forward to our upcoming meets so Fordham cross country can continue to demonstrate the great strength of its program.”
The Fordham men’s and women’s cross country teams return to action on September 25 at the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown, which is in Franklin Park in Boston, Massachusetts.
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