Courtesy of Fordham Athletics
By Alexandria Sedlak
This past weekend, the men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the David Hemery Valentine Invitational, hosted by Boston University. The women’s team raced on Friday, Feb. 12, while the men’s team raced on Saturday, Feb. 13, with several members running numerous new career-bests and ECAC/IC4A-qualifying times.
In six events, the women’s team saw some good results. Senior Danielle Rowe competed in the 800m race, with a time of 2:14.07 and a 37th place finish, earning her a spot in the ECAC. Freshman Kate McCormack, finishing with a time of 2:14.92, sophomore Merissa Wright, finishing with a time of 2:15.30, and freshman Leah Hickey, finishing with a time of 2:20.29, also competed in the 800m and all scored new career-best times. McCormack missed out on ECAC qualification by less than a second. Freshman Morgan Menzzasalma was the lone Ram in the 200m dash, turning in a career-best time of 26.01 and placing 87th overall. Junior Shanna Heaney ran in the 1,000m for the second time this season and saw impressive results, placing 18th with a time of 2:53.98 and qualifying for the ECAC once again.
Fordham’s last event of the day was the 4x400m relay. The Rams’ ‘A’ team consisted of Menzzasalma, Wright, Rowe and Moroz. The team finished in the top 10, posting a time of 3:52.63 and missing out on an ECAC berth by a mere second. Heaney and Rowe, both of whom qualified for the ECAC in four different competitions this season, provided the bulk of the highlights in this meet. Together, they qualified for the ECAC in both the distance medley relay and the 4×800 relay. Rowe also qualified individually in the 500m, as well as the 800m race in Boston. Meanwhile, Heaney qualified individually in both the 800m and the 1,000m; in fact, she posted an ECAC qualifying time for the 800m twice during the last two meets.
“This weekend’s goal was to get some quick times in before our upcoming Atlantic 10 conference meet this weekend, and the group did just that,” said Heaney. “Danielle Rowe, Merissa Wright, Kate McCormack and I ran season best times in the 800m and 1,000m. Danielle and I are excited to have secured each of our fourth ECAC qualifying standards for this season.”
The men’s team saw just as much success as the women. Freshman Jordan Allen qualified for the IC4A in his 200m dash debut, finishing with a time of 22.22. Sophomore Ryan Riviere was the only Ram to compete in a field event, placing 18th overall with a 14’3.25” pole vault. Sophomore Louis Santelli and freshman Patrick Dineen competed in the 800m run, each setting a new personal record with times of 1:55.11 and 1:58.76, respectively. Sophomore Fritz Heinrich also set a new personal record in the 1,000m run, with a time of 2:30.46 putting him in 25th place overall. Freshman Jared Benn earned third place in the 500m race, posting an IC4A qualifying time of 1:03.44.
After the meet, Benn seemed pleased with the team’s performance. “I thought the meet went great,” he said. “Everybody put in a lot of effort and it showed with fast times. It was a good meet for the entire team.”
Continuing the IC4A qualifying times, freshman Sean Phillips took a 53rd place finish in the mile with a time of 4:13.37. Sophomore Thomas Slattery also raced in the mile, and with a finish of 62nd and a time of 4:14.51, he just missed the qualifying time by one second. The last race of the day was the 4x400m relay, for which Fordham’s ‘A’ team consisted of Dehais, Benn, Santelli and Allen. They finished in 21st place overall with a time of 3:20.51, which put them just over a second away from an IC4A qualifying time.
Riviere summed up the weekend. “Both the men’s and women’s teams had great performances this weekend,” he said. “The team had multiple athletes run qualifying times for both IC4As and ECACs. As a team, we are working hard to keep this momentum rolling as we prepare for the A-10 Championships this upcoming weekend.”
Valentine’s Day weekend proved to be a wonderful time for the Fordham Rams, as both teams saw IC4A and ECAC qualifying times, as well as many new personal records. There is no doubt that they have a great streak rolling, and Rowe trusts that her team can keep it going. “This meet really set us up well for conference which is this weekend,” she said. “We had some great performances and now we can go into conference confident that our team can and will perform well. This week, we will focus on fine tuning certain things at practice to prepare for this weekend, which is what we’ve been working towards since pre-season.”
The Rams return to action in the Atlantic 10 Championship, hosted by Rhode Island. The two day meet will take place next weekend, starting on Saturday, Feb. 20, at 9 a.m.