Cross Country Looks to Build on Promising 2021

Cross Country is ready to begin competition this fall. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Cross Country is ready to begin competition this fall. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

As the leaves begin to change and fall approaches, Fordham Cross Country prepares for another campaign in hopes of finishing at the top of the Atlantic 10 circuit. The crew will begin the season on Saturday, Sept. 3 at the Stony Brook Invitational. Head coach Brian Horowitz is back for his fourth year in the position and will have a wealth of upperclassmen on both the men’s and women’s sides. 

Seniors Colin Flood, John Arvantides, Nolan Chiles, Ryan Fahey, Jack Reilly and Samuel Wilcox will lead the men’s unit and attempt to post impressive fourth-year campaigns. The men’s group was effective last year and was only one place short of taking home the Metropolitan Championship. It is fair to predict that the team’s seniors will build on their success from the prior season. Specifically, Flood recorded the fifth-best 8K time at the Princeton Invite. Sophomore Rodolfo Sanchez and junior Steven Zucca should also be major components of the team’s success. While cross country competitions are often aided by individual performances, holistic team prosperity is strengthened by a group’s overall makeup and ability to outrun the competition. The freshmen, sophomores and juniors must pull their weight here just as they’d have to in any team sport. Luckily, these Rams are a talented bunch, filled with individuals that work hard at their craft. Last year, Zucca secured the men’s best time at the Jasper XC Fall invite and second best men’s time on the season, clocking in at 25:19.4. Sanchez also made his mark. He punched in the men’s third fastest time last season at the Princeton Invitational. Both athletes will return with the aforementioned seniors and help form a diversely cohesive men’s unit. 

Last season was a truly successful one for the women’s side of cross country. They won the Metropolitan Championship and were led by a few experienced seniors as well as a wealth of young and hungry sophomores and juniors. This season’s team features a senior class that includes Alexandra Thomas, Taylor Mascetta, Nicoleta Papavasilakis, Emmy Longmore and Nathania Tan. Each of these seasoned athletes earned personal victories over the course of their junior seasons. Tan finished first in the coaches race at the Jasper XC Invite. Thomas finished fifth at the Metropolitan Championship. Mascetta clocked in the second-best 5K time on the women’s team last season. Papavasilakis finished fifth at the Fordham Fiasco and Longmore placed third at the mentioned Jasper function. Overall, the women’s end of cross country fought hard all season and are certainly poised for another tremendous year of action. 

The men and women of cross country have already started their training. The A-10 championship is slated for Oct. 28, and the NCAA Northeast Regional is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 11. With so much promise, they will undoubtedly be a fun bunch to see compete this fall.