The Penn Relays, hosted by the University of Pennsylvania at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, turned out some great performances from the Rams on both the men’s and women’s track and field teams. The Relays took place from April 28-30. During this time, Fordham secured several top finishes, both in the relay events and the individual events, including many season-best times.
On Thursday, the women’s 4x400m relay was the first race. The relay team, which consisted of sophomore Merissa Wright, senior Danielle Rowe, freshman Morgan Menzzasalma and freshman Aidan Moroz, won their heat with a season-best time of 3:53.97. The team finished five seconds in front of Stony Brook, the second place finishers, and came in 35th overall. In individual races, graduate student Brianna Tevnan finished 13th in her heat, and 22nd overall, with a time of 11:07.41 in the college 3000m steeplechase championship. Senior Mike Turi, competing in the Olympic Development 5000m race, came in 22nd in his heat and 27th overall, with a time of 15:10.42.
Competition continued on Friday with the men’s distance medley relay. The team included graduate student Jonathan Annelli, who finished his leg in 3:06.54, freshman Jared Benn (49.40), sophomore Louis Santelli (1:51.70) and sophomore Thomas Slattery who concluded his leg in 4:16.36. The Rams claimed victory in their heat with a season-best time of 10:03.98, which was 0.49 seconds ahead of the second place finishers from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. By the end of the day, the time earned the Fordham team a sixth place finish overall and was about 10 seconds faster than this year’s previous season-best time.
Saturday was the final day of the Penn Relays, during which both the men’s and the women’s 4x800m relay teams raced. The men’s team included sophomores Fritz Heinrich, Santelli, Cook and Michael Campbell. The Rams placed second in their heat and 11th overall, beating New York University and Princeton University with a season-best time of 7:41.32. The time was also 10 seconds faster than the previous season-best time. The women’s team, consisting of Wright, Rowe, junior Shanna Heaney and freshman Kate McCormack, finished fifth in its heat and sixth overall with a season-best time of 9:00.80. This time was actually more than 15 seconds faster than the Rams’ previous season-best time for this event.
Wright summed up the weekend. “Our team finds its strength in relays, so we were all excited to do what we do best. Both men and women had strong showings, and both 4×800 teams fought against tough competition and, despite not coming out with the victory, ran solid races to get ready for next week’s A-10 Championships,” Wright said.
The team is proud of its work so far, but is not done just yet. As the semester draws to a close, the track and field teams will continue to practice and compete in meets for the next month. Such events include the Atlantic 10 Championship, the Tom Farrell Classic this upcoming weekend and the ECAC/IC4A Championship in the middle of May. Gaining confidence from what they have done so far, the Rams are preparing to take their team to the next level. McCormack also commented on the weekend,” McCormack said. “We had some pretty good performances this weekend. This is a great meet to keep the momentum moving for A-10s next weekend. We are looking forward to some very strong performances in the upcoming weeks.”