By: Tom Terzulli
It is not often that an athlete gets a chance to etch their name in the history books. Thousands upon thousand of talented sprinters have run the 200m dash as a Fordham Ram, but only two can be the school record holders. And at Friday’s NYC Gotham Invitational, sophomore Mary Kate Kenny captured that elusive distinction. “This ranks in the top three proudest moments in my track career,” she said. “Each race I hope to break my best time in the race but breaking the school record isn’t on my mind. It is a very exciting and motivating moment in my collegiate career.”
The Garden City native finished her historic run in 25.09 seconds, good for fifth place in the event.
“When I was coming through the line, I didn’t initially think I had the record but I knew I was close from my previous races, but it was a nice surprise.”
Junior Nkeka Pinheiro almost joined the record breaking club herself, crossing the line in 25.38, right behind Kenny. The pair piled on the solid day, with top 15 finishes in another short distance contest. In the 60m sprint, Kelnny finished 11th with a time of 7.84, while Canada’s Pinherio placed a few spots behind in 15th (7.93). Junior Laura Jaeger also ran in the event, finishing 45th (8.29).
The other big finishers in singles competition were headlined by a pair of Massachusetts natives, junior Merissa Wright and freshman Sydney Snow. Wright, of Ocean Bluff, finished in eighth place in the 400m dash, posting a time of 58.03. And representing Holliston, Snow raced to a 10th place finish in the 1,000m, cruising to a season-best time of 2:58.66.
Sophomor Blake Elwood, made it two season bests in the 1,000m, when she finished eight spots behind in 18th (3:06.83). Fellow sophomores, Laurel Fisher’s 17th place finish in the 800m (2:23.22) and Abigail Taylor’s 18th place finish in the mile (5:24.10) rounded out the women’s individual sprinting.
In field events, freshman Gabriella Gavalas and Mary Kate Caucci paced the high jump, finishing 24th (15’ 11.5”) and 31st (15’ 3.25”) respectively. Gavalas also won her section, en route to finishing ninth in the Triple Jump with a jump of 36’ 7.5”. In 23rd place was first year jumper Alina Kwiatkowski (34’ 0”), who joined Caucci (32nd, 32’ 11.25”) in the top 35.
On the men’s side, it was the relays that took center stage. The foursome of freshman Michael Petersen, sophomore Jared Benn, and juniors Brian Cook and Thomas Slattery secured the distance medley with a time of 10:00.10. That was good for the second fastest time for that event in the country for the week of Jan 16-22.
The freshman sensation Peterson rolled into the singles events. The Toronto native racked up sixth place in the 400m dash. Sophomore Eddie Dehais was the only other Ram finisher at 57th (51.88).
One of the squad’s few seniors, Jake Duckworth, had the top single’s finish on the day, taking 3rd in the 5,000 meter run (15:09.72). In the mile, freshman Ryan Kutch finished in seventh(4:22.59).Additionally, junior Nik O’Brien was a 12th place finisher in the 3,000 meter run, crossing the line in a time of 8:47.41. Also in action was Benn in the 200m (17th – 22.48) and junior Michael Campbell in the 800m (45th – 2:04.54).
Finally, on the field, junior Ryan Riviere lit up the pole vault, finishing ninth overall with a jump of 13’ 9.25”. In addition, freshman Andrew Byrne secured 18th in the high jump at 6’ 0.05”.
Next up for the Rams is a trip to Beantown for the annual Terrier Classic at Boston University. They hit the track Friday, Jan. 27.