Track and Field Closes Out Indoor Season on a High Note


Zalen Nelson and Fordham had a positive end to the indoor season at the Atlantic 10 Championship and the ECAC/IC4A Championship. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Fordham Track and Field wrapped up its indoor season with two straight weeks of championship meets. The Rams traveled to Kingston, R.I. in the final week of February for the Atlantic 10 Championship before their season came to a close. Then, the teams pivoted to Boston for the ECAC/IC4A Championship.

Despite carrying some momentum into the A-10 Championship, the Rams struggled against some tough competition, as the men finished 9th out of 11 teams while the women ranked 10th out of 15 teams.

For both sides, the championship began on Saturday. On the men’s side, the Rams scored in two of five scoring events as freshman Michael Croke tied for eighth place in the pole vault while junior Steven Zucca put up a personal best of 14:23.88 in the 5,000-meter run, good for fifth overall. Fordham qualified for three Sunday finals, this time scoring in eight events. Sophomore Rodolfo Sanchez and graduate student Zalen Nelson headlined the day with top-five finishes as the Rams concluded the championship in ninth place with 26.5 points, ahead of just the University of Massachusetts and St. Bonaventure.

The women’s side also suffered a slow start in the A-10 Championship, scoring in just one of six events and finishing day one in 13th place out of the 15 competing teams. Junior Skylar Harris accounted for the lone points of the day with a season best long jump of 18’ 2 1/2”. Still, the Rams qualified for three finals on Sunday, rallying to score in five events on Sunday as they finished 10th overall. Senior Kyla Hill’s magical season continued, showing her prowess in both the 60-meter and 200-meter dash. Hill scored fourth in the 60 meter while her time of 24.55 seconds in the 200 meter earned her Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors. Graduate student Jane Rokitta picked up Fordham’s second medal of the day, taking silver and Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors in the high jump.

The calendar flipped to March for the ECAC/IC4A Championship hosted by Boston University, as both men’s and women’s finished their season on a high note with remarkable showings. The events began on Saturday, in what proved to be a fruitful day for Fordham as the Rams set four program records and qualified for six Sunday final events.

The Rams scored in two events on Saturday, both coming from the women’s side. Graduate student Tiffany Hanna was the first to put new ink in the record book, scoring fourth in the weight throw with a school record distance of 61’ 1 1/2”.

Hanna had already set the program record twice this season, this time breaking her own record by nearly three feet. Rokitta accounted for Fordham’s other score, ranking fifth in the high jump.

Unsurprisingly, Hill joined in on the record-breaking fun, first tying her own program record in the 60-meter dash with 7.57 seconds before etching her name in program history for a second time that day, breaking the program record in the 200-meter dash previously set by graduate student Kathryn Kelly in 2020.

Hill ranked third and fifth overall in the 60 meter and 200 meter, qualifying her for finals the following day. Fordham also qualified in both the 4×400 and the 4×800 relays.

On the men’s side, Nelson set a record himself, qualifying for the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:24.17, breaking the record he set last year. The men’s other qualifier came from the 4×400 relay team of senior Erik Brown and freshmen Kevin Callaghan, Matthew Nurse and Yariv Simhony, who ranked sixth with a season-best time.

Saturday may have come to an end, but the record-breaking did not. After tying her record in the 60-meter dash on Saturday, Hill decided to go one step further and break it, setting a new program record with a time of 7.56 seconds, good for fourth overall. Hill also ran in the 200-meter dash, setting the program record for a second day in a row with a time of 24.05 seconds.

The Rams also earned a bronze medal in the 4×800 relay, as the unit of seniors Taylor Mascetta and Mary Kathryn Underwood, graduate student Helen Connolly and junior Marin Bogulski finished third with a season best time of 9:04.72.

Nelson brought home a medal for the men’s side in the finals on Sunday, grabbing silver in the 1,000-meter run as he fell just shy of his record time from Saturday.

The remaining finalists came in the 4×400 and 4×800 relays, with both units finishing seventh overall.

The record-setting weekend officially caps off a remarkable indoor season that saw records set for both men’s and women’s. It’s been a truly outstanding stretch for Hill, Hanna and Nelson, who seemingly set Fordham records on the regular.

The Rams will get a much deserved break as they set their sights on the start of the outdoor season, beginning on March 18 at the Stony Brook Snowflake Classic in New York.