By BRYAN KIEL
With the new semester well underway, the Rams have been at work on the indoor track. After three meets, the Rams have had multiple championship qualification times from their top runners and have developed a solid core of top-10 finishers in multiple events. With their latest meet this past Saturday night at The Armory Track and Field Center in Manhattan, the team continued the long season on a high note.
The 2014 season began at the NYC Gotham Cup, sponsored by NYU. The women’s team had an especially strong showing from its top two seniors, Anisa Arsenault and Titi Fagade. Arsenault placed second in the 5,000 meter run with a time of 17:52, while Fagade qualified for the ECAC championships with a time of 1:15 in the 500 meter.
The Yale Invitational a day later brought even more success for Fordham, especially for relay teams. The women’s 4×800 relay team of Fagade, sophomore Melissa Higgins, junior Kristen Stuart and junior Mara Lieberman qualified for the ECAC Championships with a time of 9:18. The men’s team of the same event, consisting of juniors Lester Taylor and Dan Green, as well as seniors Ryan Polo and Brian Walter, qualified for the IC4A Championship with a time of 7:49. The final qualifying team was the women’s distance medley relay. Arsenault anchored the team with Lieberman, senior Averie Sheppard and sophomore Danielle Rowe leading.
Fordham faced tough competition coming into the Saturday Night Shootout, and was a shorthanded team due to illness. While placing 12 out of 14 teams in competition, Fordham still clocked in some strong showings by its competitors. The relay teams proved to be a strong asset once again for the women, as the 1600 meter sprint medley took first place with a time of 4:12. Individuals who placed for the women included Higgins, in sixth place with a time of 3:04 in the 1000 meter run, as well as freshman Ariana Bottalico, who placed fifth with a time of 10:42 in the 3000 meter run.
None of the men cracked the top three in any competition, but placing times came from a few runners and throwers. Walter came in fifth for the 1000 meter run with a time of 2:33, while the 4×800 team also took fifth with a time of 8:09. Junior Austin Ruiz took seventh in the shot put with a distance of 46’ 5 ¼”, while junior Pat McGuire placed eighth in the weight throw with a distance of 43’ 2 ¼.’’
Heading into its next meet, the Terrier Invitational at Boston University, the team looks to increase its output in events.
“Everyone ran pretty strong splits on those relays,” Arsenault said. “We head to Boston next week, which will definitely be a competitive meet on a fast track, and we’ll see lots more individual qualifying times then.”
With strong relay squads and stars in speed and distance, the Rams look to improve times all around.