Track & Field Has Wins and Losses at A-10 Championships


At the Atlantic 10 Championships, Fordham Track & Field took centerstage. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Dylan Balsamo, Assistant Sports Editor

The month is March. It is a month in college athletics specifically noted for men’s and women’s basketball, but more than just those sports are starting to heat things up. It is championship season.

That includes Fordham Men’s and Women’s Track & Field, which spent this past weekend competing at the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Indoor Championships taking place at the University of Rhode Island. It was a two-day event that saw multiple events and wins for both the men and women of the Rams squad. The men finished fifth out of 13 schools competing while the women found themselves in 12th.

Beginning on Saturday, day one saw the Rams compete in both events and preliminaries that would continue on Sunday. For the women, the highlight of the day was the performance of junior Kathryn Kelly. Kelly had a season-best number in the long jump at 18’11 3/4”, earning the bronze medal. Later on, she qualified for two Sunday events: the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.61 seconds (breaking a school record that she held herself by just .06 seconds) and the 200 meter dash at 24.83 seconds.

Additional standout performances on Saturday came from freshman Radha Dooley, who came in eighth place in the pole vault by clearing the mark of 10’0”, junior Sarrinagh Budris, whose 1:16.83 performance in the 500 meter qualified her at seventh and sophomore Helen Connolly, who impressed in the 800 meter by qualifying eighth in the 800 meter with a time of 2:18.15.

The men saw some success as well, and highlighting that success was graduate student Nicholas Raefski.

Competing in the 5,000 meter run for Fordham, Raefski posted a time of 14:35.80, not only good enough to win the race but enough to earn himself a spot on the All-Atlantic 10 First Team. For Raefski, the moment of victory was a euphoric one.

He said he knew he was going to have to give the race everything he had going into the last lap and that “the victory was everything I had hyped it up to being.”

Another one of the men’s crowning achievements on the day was the performance of the relay team. The team consisted of junior Will Whelan, junior Arthur Gooden Jr., sophomore Zalen Nelson and sophomore Patrick Tuohy. They competed in the distance medley and came in seventh at a time of 10:27.89.

There were three additional qualifiers for the men: junior Antony Misko came in fourth in the 500 meter at 1:06.06, sophomore Jeremiah DeLuca came in fifth in the 800 meter at 1:55.49 and junior Christopher Strzelinski came in fourth in the 1,000 meter at 2:30.30.

Then came Sunday. The women saw themselves score points in three events and a relay: In the 500 meter, Budris found herself in eighth place with a time of 1:16.83, and in the 800 meter, Connolly also came in eighth, posting a time of 2:18.18. In the 4×400 relay, the combination of freshman Kyla Hill, sophomore Dominique Valentine, Kelly and Budris proved successful, with an eighth-place finish at 2:56.26.

The other scoring event was from Kelly. After her record-setting performance on Saturday, she followed up with a 7.67-second fourth place finish in the final. However, when competing in the 200 meter dash final, her false start cost her the chance to score in that event as well.

The men continued their success from the previous day in Sunday’s proceedings, producing four medal winners. Leading the way was Misko, who earned All-Atlantic 10 Second Team honors in the 500 meter with a second place finish of 1:04.99. The other medalists for the Rams on the day were all bronze medals: Reardon had an IC4A-qualifying 6’8 3/4“ height in the high jump, DeLuca recorded a time of 1:57.49 in the 800 meter and Strzelinski got a time of 2:20.30 in the 1,000 meter.

In a weekend that had its share of successes and lower finishes for the Rams, Raefski said supporting teammates is the most important thing.
“Weekends like last are all about giving it everything you have and getting people going,” he said.

He also had remarks regarding this upcoming weekend’s season finale:

“We are shipping up to Boston for the last race of the season… this weekend is all about chasing fast times,” he said. “As always I’m excited to get after it. The turkey is in the oven. Now it is time to eat up.”

Those races will be the ECAC/IC4A Championships at the Boston University Track & Tennis Center. Now is the time for the Fordham Rams to eat their turkey and hope it doesn’t cause them drowsiness.