Kutch, Women’s Team Have Historic A-10s

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Ryan Kutch was the first Ram to ever win the Atlantic 10 Championship meet (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

By Jack McLoone

Ryan Kutch was the first Ram to ever win the Atlantic 10 Championship meet (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics).

The phrase “running away from the pack” is used a little too liberally, as are most sports clichés. But for junior Ryan Kutch, it is more fitting than anything else. At Saturday’s Atlantic 10 Championship at Green Pole Park in Virginia, Kutch became the first Ram in program history to win the race. Not to be outdone, Fordham Women’s Cross Country logged its best team finish at the meet in program history, placing third.

Kutch pulled into first with a time of 24:36.4, beating the next closest finisher, Cordon Louco of Duquesne by just over six seconds.

It was also announced that Kutch made the A-10 Conference team for the second season in a row.
The Rams’ second finisher was senior Brian Cook, who cracked the top 25 by finishing in 25:35.8, placing him 24th.

However, the rest of the Rams failed to keep pace with Kutch and Cook in the highly-competitive meet. Their next finisher was senior Sean Sullivan, who placed 62nd (26:13.4). Right behind him was freshman Brandon Hall, who finished 64th with a 26:16.1. Rounding out the scorers were junior Matthew Roma (81st, 26:32.8), junior Patrick Donahue (98th, 26:57.8) and sophomore William Whelan (112th, 27:43.5).

The men’s side finished in 10th. Winning the meet was Dayton, who edged out La Salle by just three points and had three racers in the top 10.
On the women’s side, the Rams were strong across the board en route to the best performance in team history.

Leading the way, as she always does, was senior Angelina Grebe. She was about as close to finishing 10th as you can, coming in just one hundredth of a second behind Courtney Thompson from Richmond with a time of 17:39.5.

“I felt ready for this meet – I have been thinking about it since last A-10’s when I did not feel like I ran to my true potential,” said Grebe of her performance. “I feel in the best shape I have throughout all of my years of cross and to be able to achieve all-conference my senior year was a great feeling since I have been putting in the work.”

Like Kutch, Grebe was also named to the A-10 Conference team.

While running is often thought of as one of the more individual sports, Grebe was quick to defer to the team’s success.

“To be honest though, the team finish was way more fulfilling than anything I could have done individually,” she said.

The only thing that is closer to Grebe’s finish is a tie, which is what happened between senior Abigail Taylor and junior Katarzna Krzyzanowski, who placed 16th with a time of 17:54.9. And they got to that point despite not running together most of the race. At the 1.6k mark, Krzyzanowski was almost two seconds ahead of Taylor and racing in 10th place. By the time they reached the 3.4k mark, Taylor had passed Krzyzanowski and was leading her by six seconds before the two met at the finish.

The Rams’ next finisher was junior Sydney Snow (49th, 18:32.9). She was followed by a pair of seniors that finished neck-and-neck, Kate McCormack (58th, 18:40.2) and Laurel Fisher (59th, 18:41.0). Rounding out the scorers for the Rams was freshman Sarah Daniels, who finished 67th with a time of 18:52.3.

The Richmond Spiders scurried away with the meet win by accumulating just 41 points, with Dayton finishing in second with 94. Fordham secured third place with 150.

Grebe called the team finish “truly special,” both because it showed not just how hard this team had worked during the season, but also the culture she has helped build over the last four years with the other senior top finishers.

“The team culture has been developing over the past years and I really owe this to all of my teammates, both past and present, because the atmosphere on the team this year was truly something special,” said Grebe. “My freshmen year we finished 10th, so to be able to come in at [third] this year was a really incredible feeling.”

The fields will only strengthen in the final two meets of the season, starting with the NCAA District Regional in what should be frigid air in two weeks on Friday, Nov. 9 at the University at Buffalo.