SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Warriors competed in the AIC Yellow Jacket Invitational for the first time, a meet which included upwards of 20 institutions in both the men's and women's meet. The majority of the competing institutions are affiliated with the Division II level, but also included, among others, UMass Dartmouth, Rhode Island College and Keene State from the Little East Conference. Numerous events ran between 8-12 heats, with upwards of 80 individuals competing in a number of events. The top eight individuals and first eight relays scored points. The meet was the third of the outdoor season for Eastern.
The meet was the third of five regular-season invitationals during the outdoor season.
In the highly-competitive meet, Eastern did not score points, but had several standout performances.
Sophomore Haley Knox (Bristol) fell short by .19 seconds of cracking the Top 8 in the 1,500, but knocked 11 seconds off her previous best time of the season with a 5:04.95 and placed ninth in a field of 65 runners (top 14 percent). Knox was the second Division III athlete across the line.
Eastern was well-represented in the 200, with freshmen Ahriyan Brown (New Britain) and Hayley Brodeur (Old Saybrook) placing 18th and 21st, respectively. Brown finished in the top 21 percent of the 87-person field in a time of 26.98 and Brodeur was close behind at 27.08 (top 24 percent).
Seven Eastern runners finished in the Top 50 of the 58-person 800 meter field. Competing in the event for the second time in two weeks, senior captain Mariah McPhee (Bristol) weathered the wind and cold to clock a 2:29.56, nearly four seconds faster than her time the week prior at UMass Dartmouth and place among the top 21 percent. Knox, sophomore Christina Gosseliin (Old Saybrook) and junior captain Rachel Berkowsky (Stoughton, MA) also placed among the Top 25. Knox (2:31.74) was 21st, Gosselin (2:33.06) 24th and Berkowsky (2:35.15) 25th.
The Warriors visit Mount Holyoke College Saturday for an 11 a.m. invitational before hosting their own invitational Friday, April 21 at 2 p.m. in the lead-up to the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championships April 29 at Westfield State University. That championship meet will be the final one for the majority of Eastern's team members.