Track Men and Women maintain Solid Finish at Metropolitan Championship

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The Metropolitan Championship saw success for both men’s and women’s track, as Fordham had multiple event wins. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Dylan Balsamo, Assistant Sports Editor

It is no secret to anybody in the world of collegiate athletics that the winter track season is in full swing. It can sometimes seem as if it is merely a semi colon that links together the cross country events of the fall with the outdoor grandeur of the much more celebrated spring season. With second semester just beginning, Fordham Track & Field participated in their first championship of the winter season this past weekend. Competing with 14 other schools in the Metropolitan Championship in Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze Complex, the men tied for second and the women came in fourth place.

The men’s second-place finish makes them the runner-up for the second year in a row. The Fordham men were behind Rutgers’ 206 total points, tied with Fairleigh Dickinson at 101 and followed by Manhattan with 70. For the women, St. John’s placed in first at 160, followed by Rutgers with 142, Fairleigh Dickinson with 94 and Fordham with 74.

On the men’s side, the day saw three event wins for the Rams. Graduate student Nicholas Raefski won the 5,000-meter run with a finishing time of 14:32.86, an IC4A qualifying time. He was not the only Ram runner to post such a time in the race, as right behind him in second and third, respectively, were sophomore Brandon Hall and senior Ryan Kutch. Hall’s time was 14:38.85, and Kutch’s time was 14:39.01.

The other events the men took home at the Championship included the 1,000-meter, with senior Sean Sullivan crossing the finish line at 2:20.50, and the heptathlon competition, with senior Jeremy Milite’s 3,779 beating the 3,728 of Connor Penrod from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

Milite earned those 3,779 points by having success in multiple events. He finished first in the long jump (18’ 8 1/2”), the shot put (33’ 6 1/2”) and the pole vault (10’ 6”), while coming in second in the 60 meter dash (7.70), the high jump (5’ 5”), the 60-meter hurdles (10.35) and the 1,000 meter (2:54.40).

The Rams had a few other competitors who finished in second place in their respective events, as freshman Colin Flood’s 8:47.34 was good enough for second in the 3,000-meter race, and junior Nikolas Reardon did the same in the triple jump with a mark of 44’ 8 3/4”.

It was a successful day all around for the men. On the ladies’ side, the Rams did not have a shabby day either.

The Fordham women won two events at the Metropolitan Championship. The first one was a solo event: freshman Radha Dooley’s performance at the pole vault was electric, as she won the event by clearing with a height of 10’ 6”, a season best for her. Also taking first in the 4×8000 relay with a time of 9:27.20 was the team of sophomore Jilli Jones, freshman Taylor Mascetta, freshman Mary Kathryn Underwood and sophomore Helen Connolly.

The relay formula proved itself somewhat successful for the Rams at the competition. A third place finish and a season-best time of 12:11.19 were the result of the distance medley relay for the squad of senior Sydney Snow, senior Gabrielle Schreib, freshman Alexandra Thomas and sophomore Bridget Alex. Also having success was the 4×400 relay team of junior Sarinnagh Budris, sophomore Dominique Valentine, freshman Kyla Hill and junior Kathryn Kelly, as they came in fourth place in their race at 3:55.64, also a season-best time.

Thomas also came in second place at the 5,000-meter run, coming in with a season-best mark of 17:33.74. There was one other runner-up for the Fordham women, as Connolly also had a season-best time of 2:16.69 in the 800-meter event, earning second place.

Though they may have come in fourth place, the women of the Rams brought their A-game to the Metros.
It was what one might call a successful day on both ends.

“Last week’s race was just a nice a reminder of how fit we are right now, and that there is a lot of room for progression, not just from me, but for a lot of our distance team,” Raefski said of the standout weekend for the Rams. “We have a lot of freshmen on who are poised to have big breakthroughs in the near future. And it is a really exciting time to be a Fordham distance runner. Coach Horowitz has done a great job getting us ready for championship season.”

The Rams will have this coming weekend off, and with a performance like theirs this past weekend, the rest is well-deserved. Up next for them on Feb. 14 and 15 is the David Hemery Valentine Invitational, taking place at the Track & Tennis Center of Boston University.