Track & Field Continues Strong Season



The Fordham men’s and women’s track teams each had a busy winter break, with the NYC Gotham Cup and Yale Invitational taking place on Friday, Jan. 11, and  Saturday, Jan. 12, respectively. These meets are mid-season indicators of the teams’ standing on an individual level as well as in comparison to their Atlantic 10 counterparts.

A handful of runners were sent to compete in the Gotham Cup at the Armory, but the success of Fordham’s jumpers and field event athletes were the highlight of this meet.

Junior David Fajoyomi hit the IC4A qualifying mark while placing second in the men’s high jump by clearing 6’ 11”. Fujoyami, who is from Hungary, is the defending Atlantic 10 Conference high jump champion for indoor, and this performance shows that he is “hungry” to repeat.

On the women’s side, graduate student Nicole Ragucci placed seventh in the pole vault with 10’ 6”, hitting the ECAC qualifying standard in the process. Ragucci spent four years competing for the Duke University track program, red-shirting her sophomore year to give her one more of eligibility.

Senior Sean Atkinson had a IC4A qualifying performance as well by hitting 48.81 seconds in the 400m-dash to place fifth. The week prior, Atkinson hit the IC4A standard in the 500m-dash, showing his versatility among the sprinting events.

Next, Fordham traveled to New Haven, Conn. to compete in the Yale Invitational.

Highlighting this meet were Fordham’s relay teams, three of which hit IC4A/ECAC qualifying standards.  The men’s distance medley relay, which follows the 12-4-8-16 format, placed fourth overall and qualified in a time of 10:10.22. This team consisted of senior John Cosgrove, junior Sean Collins, senior Mike Rossi and junior Ryan Polo.

The men’s 4×800-m relay team is considered to be the most formidable in the Atlantic 10; the team of junior Brian Walter, sophomore Lester Taylor (a transfer from St. Joseph’s), sophomore Danny Green and Atkinson earned a second place finish in a time of 7:44.04.  Fordham’s depth in the middle distance department requires some narrowing down to find the best possible 4×800-m team for the conference meet and the IC4A championship.

On the women’s end, the 4×800-m relay team hit the ECAC qualifying standard by running 9:18.45. That effort would also result in a victory, with credit to the team of sophomore Melissa Higgins, sophomore Jillian Brooks, sophomore Kristen Stuart and junior Titi Fagade.

On a somber note, Fordham assistant track coach Ed Joyce passed away on Sunday, Jan. 13 from his struggle with cancer. Coach Joyce had been working his eighth year as an assistant coach at Fordham, specializing in jumping and throwing. He will truly be missed by his athletes and those he touched throughout the New York track scene.