Fordham Women Race to First Place at Metropolitan Championship


It was a successful weekend for both men’s and women’s track and field. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Another race, another successful weekend for Fordham Track & Field as the women’s team secured first place out of 10 teams at the Metropolitan Championship on Staten Island. Not only did the women put up great scores, but the men’s team finished second out of nine teams at the Metropolitan Championship as well, followed by senior Zalen Nelson’s ninth-place finish at the Dr. Sander Columbia Challenge.

The win on Saturday marked the women’s program’s first-ever victory at the Metropolitan Championship, finishing with a total of 153 points — a whopping 52 points above the second-place finisher. 

Starting off with the mile run, the women nearly swept the competition away, with seven Rams finishing in the top eight. Junior Taylor Mascetta led the pack in first place with a time of 5:11.21. Close behind her was fellow junior Alexandra Thomas in third, freshman Madeleine Ryan and sophomore Clodagh McGroary took fourth and fifth respectively. Junior Nicoleta Papavasilakis, sophomore Marin Bogulski and freshman Caitrina Barton locked down sixth, seventh and eighth place. 

In the 500m, the Fordham women took home another first-place victory, this time with the help of junior Mary Kathryn Underwood, recording a season-best time of 1:17.36. However, she did not race alone, as senior teammate Jilli Jones finished in fourth place with a time of 1:20.09.

Four women went on to compete in the 1000m race, with senior Helen Connolly leading the charge for first place with her season-best time of 2:57.56. Senior Bridget Alex, sophomore Abigail Llach and sophomore Mady Kopec brought home placements in the top ten as well, finishing second, fourth and sixth, respectively. Jones, Underwood, Connolly and Mascetta joined efforts to wrap up the last of the first-place victories for the Rams in the 4×800 relay, accumulating a time of 9:36.61.

Not only did the women dominate on the track, but they also delivered in the field events. Graduate student Kathryn Kelly and sophomore Skylar Harris lent their talents in the long jump, finishing second and third, respectively, with Kelly recording a season-best score of 5.61m. Junior Amanda Gurth delivered a season-best distance in the shot put and a sixth overall finish in the event.

Sophomore Tara Coyne vaulted her way to a seventh-place finish in the pole vault event while senior Casey Metzler once again showed massive strength with a fourth-place tally in the weight throw event. 

However, it was not only the women that took home accolades at the Metropolitan Championship, as the men’s side recorded a plethora of top ten finishes. The team tied its best-ever finish at the event, coming in second overall. 

Senior Brandon Hall led the charge, bringing home the men’s first victory in the 5000m run. Hall recorded a season-best time of 14:42.41. Going on to the 1000m event, the Rams swept the top three spots with senior Jeremiah LaDuca taking the top spot, followed by fellow senior Patrick Tuohy in second. Freshman Rodolfo Sanchez held his own amid the pack of upperclassmen, finishing in third behind his Ram teammates. 

The men truly shined in the relay events, in which the Rams took home two first-place victories, in the distance medley relay and in the 4×800. The distance medley team, consisting of freshman Nathan Bezuneh, sophomore Justin Lombardi, sophomore Daniel Asher and junior Colin Flood finished in a season-best time of 10:27.64, locking down another first-place finish. Junior Erik Brown went on to add his skills to the 4×800 relay team, consisting of himself, Sanchez, Tuohy and LaDuca. The team not only won, but set another season-best time of 7:51.43.

In the field, sophomore Justin Rhee added more points to the men’s team, placing fourth in both the long jump and triple jump events. Rhee marked another season-best performance in the long jump, with a distance of 6.59m. Senior Alex Wargo brought home not only a fifth-place finish for the weight throw, but a season best mark of 14.69m as well.

However, the Metropolitan Championship was not the only thing going on for Fordham Track and Field this week. Senior Zalen Nelson put his skills to the test in the Dr. Sander Columbia Challenge, competing in the 800m run. Finishing ninth in the 42-runner field, Nelson recorded a time of 1:53.09. 

As runners continue to rack up season-best times and first place finishes, the Rams are setting their sights on this coming weekend’s events. The teams will split their focus between the Rutgers Indoor Invitational as well as the Boston University Valentine Invitational. Expect the Rams to be on their A game as they gear up in two weeks for the Atlantic 10 Championship.