By Tom Terzulli
It was a busy weekend for the Fordham track team. They competed in two meets in two different boroughs of New York City. The relay teams took home three top five finishes at the Millrose Games in Manhattan on Saturday, while their teammates took part in Staten Island’s Fast Track Invitational the day before.
Freshman Gabriella Gavalas granted the Fordham women their only top 10 finishes at the OBP Track & Field Complex. A season best 5.24m performance in the long jump was good for fifth and 11.02m in the triple jump was 10th best. “My goals when I go to meets are to make it to finals and get those extra jumps in for a workout, but also to try to get a personal best even if the field is strong to make finals, ” she said.
On the track, sophomore Aidan Moroz finished 21st in the 400m, with a season best time of 59.66. Fellow sophomore Leah Hickey (32nd – 1:01.37) and freshman Gabrielle Schrieb (36th – 1:02.33) followed. Junior Laura Jaeger was the lone Ram representative in the 200m. Her season best 26.44 placed her in 48th.
Comparatively, seven Fordham runners finished the mile, led by a season best from freshman Sydney Snow. The Holliston, Massachusetts native captured 38th with a time of 5:02.91. Sophomore Angelina Grebe (42nd – 5:06.90) (season best) and Senior Shanna Heaney (49th – 5:12.49) joined Snow in the top 50. Meanwhile, sophomores Laurel Fisher (55th – 5:15.68) (season best),` Abigail Taylor (58th – 5:19.28), senior Josephine Jacob-Dolan (61st – 5:21.56), and sophomore Blake Elwood (62nd – 5:25.92) rounded out the Fordham contingent.
Finally, in the longest race of the day, Isabel Huelskamp paced the 3000m, finishing 42nd in a time of 10:45.20. She was trailed by senior Brianne Roche (10:57.29) and sophomore Kieran Hanrahan (10:58.85), who finished 45th and 46th respectively.
On the men’s side, Ryan Riviere kept the theme of field event success going. The junior was eighth in the pole vault, climbing to a season best 4.30m.
Also on tap for the Rams, junior Nik O’Brien was 30th best in the 3000m with a season best time of 8:40.14. Freshman Ryan Kutch and senior Jake Duckworth were also each in the top 30. Kutch captured 28th and Duckworth 30th in the mile, posting times of 4:18.28 and 4:18.92 respectively.
In the 400 meter run, senior Peter Strom ended up 43rd in 54.29. Freshman Jeremy Milite was one spot behind (56.87).
While the mile was the most populated race for the women, the 800m held the biggest crowd on the men’s side. Sophomore Sean Phillips topped the nine Fordham participants, finishing 24th in a season best time of 1:56.22. Another season best from junior Fritz Heinrich (41st – 1:57.59) and a 44th place finish for senior Devin Rocks (1:57.92) rounded out the top 50. Freshman Sean Sullivan (51st – 1:59.35), sophomore Patrick Dineen (53rd – 1:59.70), freshman Matthew Roma (59th – 2:00.81), senior Ryan McGann (61st – 2:02.49), junior Michael Campbell (62nd – 2:02.58) and freshman Jordan Milite (63rd – 2:03.01) were the other finishers.
With all the individual races and field events out of the way, the relay teams took center stage on Saturday. Three quartets competed in the prestigious Millrose games, looking to show what they could do against track’s best. With all three finishing in the top five, they sure did not disappoint.
Sophomore Jared Benn, freshman Michael Petersen, junior Louis Santelli and freshman Richard Webber took home the 4×400 championship, posting a season best time of 3:18.09.
Benn and Santelli joined juniors Brian Cook and Thomas Slattery to finish second in the distance medley. Their 9:47.61 time was just .33 seconds shy of top finisher Penn, and also ranks among the top 25 best times in the country for the event.
It was quite the day for Santelli. The Huntington native pulled double duty on both successful squads, going on to carve out a day he will never forget. “This meet is one of my favorites of the year and possibly even all time at Fordham. “There’s no environment quite like the Millrose games,” he said “Throughout the entire race we had at least 20 Fordham alumni cheering us on. It was an incredible experience to run there on a team with so much history in the sport…and to come back from a nail biter 2nd place in the DMR and win the 4×4 was even sweeter.”
Finally, the lone women’s squad of sophomore Nkeka Pinheiro, junior Merissa Wright, sophomore Mary Kate Kenny and sophomore Aidan Moroz captured 5th in the 4×400. Their time of 3:54.31 was good for a season best.
The A-10 Championships in Fairfax, Virginia are up next for the Rams. Races begin on Saturday, Feb. 18.