The men and women of the Fordham cross country teams might have faced just a bit more pressure than usual heading into their first meet on Saturday morning. You cannot really blame them, as their school was in the name of the event: the 36th annual Fordham Fiasco. While they did not win the event that bore their name, they put forth some strong showings.
There were solid individual and team performances on the men’s side. The Rams finished second among Division I schools at 45, not enough to edge out a 27 point performance from Yale in the top spot. It was plenty enough, however, to eclipse Bronx rival Manhattan (62), the New Jersey Institute of Technology (133), St. Francis (139), Farleigh Dickinson University (162) and John Jay (206).
Fordham may not have won the team competition, but one of Fordham’s own finished the 5k first. Junior Brian Cook crossed the line in 24:50.83, 10 seconds ahead of the second place challenger. His finish was good enough to secure him Patriot League Men’s Performer of the Week. Not far behind in fourth and fifth were freshman Ryan Kutch, who finished with a 25:08.15 in his first race as a Ram, and junior Thomas Slattery at 25:12.01. Another junior, Nikolas O’Brien, rounded out the top 15 in 26:15.02. The remaining Rams all finished with sub 30:00 times: senior Devin Rocks (27:06.19), senior Ryan McGann (27:20.81), sophomore Jerome Vessichio (27:44.91), freshman Sean Sullivan (27:54.40), senior Peter Storm (27:57.51), junior Phil Robbins (28:27.27) and sophomore Patrick Dineen (29:42.18).
The women could not get by Yale in team competition either, finishing third behind the Bulldogs (44) and Monmouth (57) with a score of 70. Manhattan (120), Princeton (138), St. Johns (152), St. Francis (211), NJIT (236) and FDU (249) were the other Division I participants.
Sophomore Angelina Grebe was the first Ram to cross the line, finishing second with an overall time of 19.09.86. Senior Cristina Ulto joined her in the top fifteen, completing the course in 19:47.44, good for 14th overall. The Rams then took all spots 18th-24th: senior Shanna Heaney (19:58.83), junior Brynna Harum (20:01.70), freshman Sydney Snow (20:03.55), sophomores Kate McCormack (20:05.48) and Abigail Taylor (20:07.97), junior Stephanie Leo (20:08.69) and freshman Olivia Gaudet (20:09.64).
The Rams will race next in Boston on Friday, Sept. 16 at the Coast to Coast Battle in Beantown.