By Tom Terzulli
With the winter season beginning to wind down, it’s time to look ahead to the transition from indoor to outdoor track and field. The Rams have been paced by solid performances at all distances and events throughout the winter campaign. Fordham is hoping this consistency continues on in the spring.
You cannot talk about Fordham Track without talking about Mary Kate Kenny. The sophomore has owned the winter season, breaking the school record for the 200m not once but twice. The first came during the NYC Gotham Invitational on Jan. 20, when she crossed the line in 25.09. She topped herself a week later at the Terrier Classic in Boston, shaving .2 seconds off the already historic time. She most recently finished fourth in the 200m at the Metropolitan Championship in Staten Island on Feb. 2 and 3. If the Garden City, New York native performs anywhere near as well in the spring as she has in the winter, she is sure to play a key role in pacing the sprints on the women’s side.
Fellow sophomore sprinter Nkeka Pinheiro has also shown some promise. She trailed Kenny at the Gotham Invitational, finishing sixth. She just recently snagged seventh in the 60m dash at the Metro Championship.
In distance races, sophomore Angelina Grebe and freshman Sydney Snow have each put up a season best apiece. Grebe’s came in the 5,000m at the Metro Championship, blowing through the race in 17:37.89. Snow’s season best came a meet earlier at the Terrier Classic, where the native of Holliston, Massachusetts earned a 39th place finish in the mile with a time of 5:04.94.
Both Grebe and Snow have also been big parts of some of the squad’s most successful relay teams. Snow was on a team with senior Shanna Heaney, sophomore Kate McCormack and junior Merissa Wright that snagged first place in the 4x800m relay at the Metro Championship. Grebe joined sophomores Laurel Fisher, Leah Hickey and Aidan Moroz to finish 4th in the distance medley at that very same meet.
Grebe and Snow, in spite of their underclassmen status, will continue to be pivotal to the distance crew as the spring season dawns.
Speaking of underclassmen, freshman Michael Petersen has already made quite an impact thus far in the winter on the men’s side, and there is no reason to think that will not carry over to the spring months. Running the 400m and 800m, he’s put together three top 20 finishes in three meets. He placed 4th in the 400m at the Gotham Invitational and 16th in the 800 at the Terrier Classic. All of this built towards his 800m victory at the Metro Championship in a time of 1:53.25.
A pair of juniors, Brian Cook and Thomas Slattery, are the two stars of the men’s distance team heading into the spring. Cook, of Pearl River, NY, placed 13th in the mile in Boston and came right back to win the same event in Staten Island a week later. Slattery similarly finished in the top 20 in Beantown and won an event the next week. The Garden City, NY product was 17th in the 1,000m and then won the event at the Metro Championship.
Peterson, Cook and Slattery, along with sophomore Jared Benn, make up the top relay team. The quartet won the distance medley at the Gotham Invitational, posting the second fastest time in the country for the week of January 16th to the 22nd.
The Rams have plenty of talent on both the men’s and women’s sides. Only time will tell how it comes together when the cold February nights turn into warm March afternoons.