Cross Country Races to Success at Regionals


The Rams turned in solid performances at NCAA Regionals. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

By Tom Terzulli

The Rams turned in solid performances at NCAA Regionals. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).
The Rams turned in solid performances at NCAA Regionals. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

It’s that time of year for Fordham Cross Country. The home stretch of the season means a different championship meet every week. This past weekend it was the NCAA Regional Championships, just a short ride away from Fordham at Van Cortlandt Park.

Junior Thomas Slattery, a top finisher for the men’s side all year, knew championship season meant an increase in the level of competiton. “This was the NCAA regional qualifier,” he said. “If you run well and get top five individually, you make it to NCAA nationals. Teams like Syracuse, Columbia, Dartmouth, Iona and other distance powerhouses make it no cakewalk.”

Slattery was right — they did not make it a cakewalk by any means. The men finished 21st in the team completion, while the women clocked in at 24th.

Slattery led the way, finishing 51st in 31:52.85. Junior teammate Brian Cook didn’t finish far behind in 57th, clocking in a time of 31:58.92 on the 10 kilometer course. Seeing Slattery and Cook leading the pack has been a common sight all year.

“Brian Cook and I went back and forth a lot this season,” Slattery said. “I can’t exactly speak for him, but we push each other all the time. It feels as though whoever comes out as the top man for the day is irrelevant.”

With the pairing having their inner competition out in front, the next Ram to cross the finish line was senior Jake Duckworth, 23 spots behind in 80th with a time of 32:19.32. Junior Nik O’Brien (184th – 33:58.00) and seniors Devin Rocks (204th – 34:26.72) and Adam Schwenzfeier (212th – 34:57.95) followed him.

Sophomore Angelina Grebe led the Fordham women in their 6 kilometer race, finishing in 77th with a time of 22:00.85. Much further behind was freshman Abigail Taylor, a 113th place finisher who concluded the race in 22:27.60. Close to 23 seconds behind her was senior Cristina Ulto in 148th (22:50.70). Freshman Sydney Snow (166th – 23:03.80), junior Stephanie Leo (178th – 23:16.30), freshman Katarzyna Krzyzanowski (181st – 23:20.70) and senior Brianne Roche (197th – 23:33.10) were the other finishers.

Syracuse junior Justin Knight took the men’s individual title with a 30:30.52 finish, and his team also secured the team championship. Another junior, Elinor Purrier of New Hampshire earned the women’s individual crown in 20:08.70. The Providence Friars were team champions.

For the Fordham seniors, the meet was the second to last of their careers. For the underclassmen, the meet was one of the few chances of the season to measure themselves against the region’s elite.

“We ran as hard as we could have. For the guys who get to return next year, I’m proud that we had the opportunity to learn about what needs to be adjusted for next year,” said Slattery.

Only one meet remains: the ECAC/IC4A Championship back at Van Cortlandt Park. Races kickoff at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19.