Student Athlete Column: Something To Prove


Taylor Mascetta has big things planned for her senior season. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Quick introduction in case you don’t know me — hi, I’m Taylor, and I’m a senior on Fordham’s track and cross country teams. Call me crazy, but I enjoy running in circles. In elementary school, I was terrible at literally every single sport. Whenever the dodgeball unit rolled around, you’d find me cowering in the corner. But I always felt that I was good at this running thing. I was the only kid in my gym class who actually looked forward to the yearly mile time trial. So, over a decade later, I’m still at it, and it’s pretty cool to say that I’m a Division 1 athlete. 

Every year I come into preseason knowing I’ve got time to reach my goals. However, what makes this year different is that my running career is nearing its end. 

Well, not entirely. If there is one thing I could thank the pandemic for, it’s the extra year of athletic eligibility — one more year of running around like a lunatic. So I’ll be sticking around for one more go, but after graduation everything’s still going to feel a little different. Some of my closest friends are moving on after this year concludes. Once graduation rolls around, it may very well be the last time we’re all in the same place together for quite a while. It’s both exciting and terrifying to think about. I’m excited to see everyone reach their dreams, but terrified to lose them at the same time. 

My class has three seasons left together, and if there’s one thing I’m thinking about coming into this year, it’s proving something. I don’t know if it’s for myself, my team or those watching me back home, but I just have this inclination towards doing something special with the rest of my time here. 

There are still so many goals I want to achieve and it’s scary to feel that time is running out to achieve them. I want to run a mile in under five minutes, I want to break my 800 PR that’s been hanging over my head since high school, I want to leave an Atlantic 10 Championship with a medal draped around my neck. There’s so many things I’ve wanted to do and they’re so close I can practically taste them. Literally. I’ve run 5:01 in the mile, was a half-second off my 800 PR back in February and got fourth at A-10s in the 4×800. The universe is taunting me at this point.

I have quite a bit of unfinished business from last season too. I was in arguably the best shape of my life heading into outdoor track, hitting PRs left and right and finally building back some self-confidence. Then, one day, my toe started cramping up randomly. Needless to say, I discovered there’s no muscle in your toe that can cramp, and that instead my bones were literally swelling up from overuse. So yeah, something called sesamoiditis wiped out the rest of my season, leaving me on the sidelines wondering what could’ve been. But if there’s one thing I always tell myself, it’s that everything happens for a reason. 

I had my first race back from my injury this past Saturday. Long story short, it didn’t go well. I ran much slower than last year, every hill felt like a death march and I just got swallowed up by the pack. At first I was really upset about it, but since coming to Fordham, I’ve learned to trust the process. Every setback I’ve faced has set the foundation for something even better to take its place. 

I’m so excited for what’s in store for my teammates and I this year. Coming off of our victories at the Metropolitan Championships and the multiple A-10 medalists in our ranks, we all want to do something really special this year. And I know for a fact that we can.