Women's Track & Field: McKosky, 4x800 Relay Win Titles at New England Alliance Meet

After becoming the first Eastern Connecticut State University women's track & field athlete to win the Little East Conference championship in the indoor mile in February, junior Samantha McKosky of Deep River followed that up Saturday by becoming the women's program's first New England Alliance champion in the outdoor 1,500 meters Saturday at the New England Alliance/Little East Conference Track & Field Championships at Bridgewater State University.  The women's 4x800 meter relay also claimed the New England Alliance title for the second time in five years in helping Eastern to fifth place in the New England Alliance and second place in the Little East Conference scoring. Running the winning relay were sophomore Maggie Dulak of Northford, freshman Lauren Bresson of Roxbury, junior Haley Knox of Bristol, and McKosky.
After becoming the first Eastern Connecticut State University women's track & field athlete to win the Little East Conference championship in the indoor mile in February, junior Samantha McKosky of Deep River followed that up Saturday by becoming the women's program's first New England Alliance champion in the outdoor 1,500 meters Saturday at the New England Alliance/Little East Conference Track & Field Championships at Bridgewater State University. The women's 4x800 meter relay also claimed the New England Alliance title for the second time in five years in helping Eastern to fifth place in the New England Alliance and second place in the Little East Conference scoring. Running the winning relay were sophomore Maggie Dulak of Northford, freshman Lauren Bresson of Roxbury, junior Haley Knox of Bristol, and McKosky.

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Junior Samantha McKosky (Deep River) became the first Eastern Connecticut State University female to win the 1,500 meters at the New England Alliance/Little East Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships Saturday at Swenson Field on the Bridgewater State University campus.

Seeded first in the event with a seed time of 4:46.88, McKosky was timed in 4:48.97 to outdistance a field of 24 competitors, edging Westfield State University senior Jessie Cardin (4:50.13) at the finish. During the indoor season, McKosky had become the first Eastern female to win the Little East Conference championship in a program record-time (she later broke that record) of 5:16.90, the time giving her second place in the New England Alliance scoring.

As she did at the indoor meet in February, McKosky also anchored the winning 4x800 meter relay. Joining McKosky Saturday on the team which posted a 9:55.59 – nine seconds faster than runner-up Westfield State – were sophomore Maggie Dulak (Northford), freshman Lauren Bresson (Roxbury) and junior Haley Knox (Bristol). The time was a hair off the program record of 9:54.89, set at last year's New England Division III meet.

The Eastern women were fifth among 11 scoring teams in the New England Alliance and second in a seven-team field in the Little East.

In individual events in New England Alliance scoring, the Eastern women received points from 14 different individuals– with McKosky, Knox and sophomore Brittany Kriley (Fair Lawn, NJ) contributing points in two events – en route to equaling their fourth-highest finish ever (fifth place) in the 21-year history of the meet.  The Warriors equaled their best finish ever in the LEC, matching the 2008 team.

In New England Alliance scoring, Westfield State University unseated four-time defending champion University of Southern Maine, which had captured 16 of the previous 18 titles. Westfield won its third championship, first in nine years. In the Little East, Rhode Island College earned its second title – first since 1999 –unseating 19-time defending champion Southern Maine.

All eight individuals who score points and the top three relays are according All-New England Alliance recognition, with the first three individuals and first two relays in LEC scoring earning All-LEC plaudits.

McKosky finished the day with 15 points in NEA competition after taking fourth place in the 800 (2:25.79), while Knox collected seven points, six coming with a third-place finish in the 3000 steeplechase and one with an eighth-place finish in the 1500 (5:04.96). Kriley also scored in two events, sharing seventh place in the high jump (5-0 ½) and taking eighth in the 100 hurdles (17.52) for a total of 2 ½ points.

The long jump featured an intriguing matchup between Eastern freshman Madeleine Dalberg (Pitea, Sweden) and UMass Boston senior Taylor Driggers, who competed at Eastern as a freshman.  During this past indoor season, Dalberg broke Drigger's record in the long jump. Saturday, Dalberg was second to Driggers in the NEA scoring in the long jump with a mark of 17-11 ½, Driggers breaking the LEC Championship mark with a jump of 18-4 ½. Driggers still holds the Eastern outdoor long jump record of 18-1.

Dalberg's eight points in that event were second only to McKosky's 15 in the meet, with improving sophomore Rachel Osak (Portland) racing to a third-place finish in the 5000 (19:42.887) as the No. 8 seed, to add six points to Eastern's total.

The Warriors added seven points in NEA scoring in the javelin behind sophomores Savannah Johnson (Ledyard) and Lydia Niderno (Willington), who placed 5-6 with marks of 115-2.  The pair placed 1-2 in the LEC tabulation last year, and both repeated All-NEA distinction with their performances this year.

Addition individuals scoring points, and thus, earning All-NEA distinction were freshman Jasmine Conduah (Fairfield), sophomore Ahriyan Brown (New Britain), senior Amanda Terenzi (Coventry, RI), sophomore Hayley Brodeur (Old Saybrook), Bresson, junior Brianna Starkey (Columbia) and freshman Marissa Yambao (Stonington).

Conduah shared fourth place in the high jump (5-2 ½) for 4 ½ points, Brown took fifth place as the No. 7 seed in the 200 (26.28) for four points, Terenzi was seventh in the 10,000 (42:14.64) for two points, and Brodeur, Bresson, Starkey and Yambao captured eighth place in their respective events for one points.  Brodeur ran the 400 (1:00.57), Bresson the 800 (2:28.40), Starkey competed in the pole vault (9-2 ¼) and Yambao in the hammer (132-4). Bresson was seeded 11th in her event, Yambao 14th.