Track Competes in Well-Known Penn Relays


The track team heads to the Atlantic 10 Championship this weekend. Courtesy of Shanna Heaney

The track team heads to the Atlantic 10 Championship this weekend. Courtesy of Shanna Heaney
The track team heads to the Atlantic 10 Championship this weekend. Courtesy of Shanna Heaney

By Bryan Kiel

The Fordham track team competed at the famed Penn Relays this past weekend, running in a number of relay races as well as a few individual events.
Runners from across the globe descended onto Franklin Field in Philadelphia between Thursday and Friday. Athletes from high schools, colleges and professional clubs all competed.

Fordham competed in six events overall, with the 4x800m women’s squad leading the way for the Rams. Though the season had started slow, Fordham is starting to heat up in the most important time of the year.

“Our season got off to a bit of a rough start with our first meet getting canceled and our second being in under-40 degree weather,” said senior captain Dan Green. “But, the team has really started to run fast in recent meets.”

The first race of the day featured senior captain Kristen Stuart, who competed in the 400 hurdles. Finishing in 31st, Stuart just missed an ECAC qualification with a time of 1:03.14.

Stuart proved to be Fordham’s workhorse of the day. After her individual performance, she competed with fellow senior Elise Tigani, junior Danielle Rowe and freshman Merissa Wright in the 4x400m relay. The relay team finished 4:04.14, a strong time, but placed just 69th in a very heavy field.

The 4x800m relay team, as it has for the past two track seasons, did better. With seniors Mara Lieberman and Melissa Higgins stepping up to join Stuart and Rowe, the team finished with a time of 8:56.39. This was good for 11th overall, and allowed the squad to qualify for the ECAC competition.

The men’s side also featured two relay races, with seven runners competing overall for the Rams. Before the race, Green reiterated the team’s excitement ahead of two competitive events.

“We consider this one of our more important meets of the year, so the team is real focused on putting up some good performances,” he said.

Though neither relay team sported top times in competition, racers competed well in both the distance medley relay and the 4x800m.

Seniors Lester Taylor, Ian Williams and Ryan Polo joined freshman Thomas Slattery in the distance medley with a time of 10:14.38, good for 18th overall. The 4x800m squad, consisting of Taylor, Green, Slattery and freshman Fritz Heinrich finished 14th overall with a time of 7:43.29.

With the Atlantic 10 Championship next week, spring track and graduation for many of Fordham’s top seniors is drawing near. Though some seniors like Jon Annelli and Brianna Tevnan will return because of red-shirted seasons in previous years, four-year runners like Stuart, Higgins, Tigani, Green, Taylor and Williams will be finishing out their track careers over the next few years.

The A-10 Championship, run this weekend in Fairfax, Virginia and hosted by George Mason University, will hopefully feature top times and memorable moments for the graduating student-athletes.