PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Eastern Connecticut State University men's and women's track & field team won five events, qualified three individuals for post-season competition and set two meet records at the Rhode Island College Invitational Saturday at the Providence Career and Technical High School.
In a non-scoring meet which included nine teams – five from the New England Alliance – freshmen Christopher Weir (Norwich), Ryan Escoda (Newtown) and Shemar Stewart (Bloomfield) won individual events for the men, with the men's 4x200 meter relay and the women's 4x800 meter relay also claiming firsts.
Weir and freshman Cody Goodson (East Hampton) went 1-2 in the pole vault in a field of seven with marks of 12-11 ½ and 12-5 1/2, respectively, with Weir a quarter-inch shy of the meet record set last year by sophomore teammate Tai Barron (Mansfield).
After winning the 3,000 and qualifying for the New England Division III Championships in his first meet last Saturday at UMass Boston, Escoda captured the mile in a field of 17 at Rhode Island in a meet-record time of 4:30.76, running away from the field after 800 meters and posting a winning margin of nearly 11 seconds over Patrick Brett of Westfield State University.
Stewart also qualified for post-season competition (by .02) with a time of 8.98 in the preliminaries of the 60 hurdles, winning in a field of seven with a time of 9.03 in the final.
The men's 4x200 relay won a two-time race against Westfield State with a time of 1:36.74. Competitors were senior Nick Afragola (Killingworth), freshman Tyler Lindquist (Worcester, MA), junior John Meade (Southington) and Stewart.
The women's 4x800 meter relay outran four other competing teams to win in a meet-record time of 10:14.40. Runners were seniors Christina Gosselin (Old Saybrook), Haley Knox (Bristol) and Samantha McKosky (Deep River), and junior Maggie Dulak (Northford).
Also qualifying for post-season competition in the high jump were sophomore Jasmine Conduah (Fairfield), who was second in a field of ten with a PR of 5-1; and senior Chidebe Ndibe (West Hartford), who was third in a field of 12 at 21-6 ¼. Ndibe broke his previous best of 21- 5/12 set as a freshman in New England competition. Ndibe qualified for the finals in the event but did not jump after catching his spikes on his second jump. Senior Brendan Cullinane (South Windsor) missed qualifying by less than six inches with a mark of 20-6 ¼, which placed him fifth.
Eastern participates at the Smith College Invitational Jan. 19 at 10 a.m.
Additional Top 3 Finishes:
Junior Ahriyan Brown (New Britain) was second among 21 in the 200 (27.14), finishing .15 seconds out of first. Brown's time – her best since posting a 26.90 as a freshman at the New England Division III Championship – left her just .14 shy of qualifying for that post-season meet again.
Sophomore Lauren Bresson (Roxbury) was second among nine in the 600 (1:50.85)
In a field of 19 runners in the 3,000, McKosky was tripped up by the eventual third-place finisher, helped her competitor to her feet, and still placed second with a PR of 10:49.40. Despite the mishap, McKosky shaved 13 seconds off her previous best in the event, which came in January of her sophomore season in a third-place finish in a field of 21 at Springfield College.
The women's 4x200 relay of Brown, juniors Savannah Johnson (Ledyard) and Hayley Brodeur (Old Saybrook) and senior Raquel Romano (Southington) was second in a field of five in a time of 1:55.04.
Freshman Kyle Smith (Manchester) was second among ten with a time of 2:05.55 in the 800, falling .50 seconds shy of Westfield State winner Zac Bentley's meet record time.
The men's 4x800 relay was second against four other relays in a time of 8:39.66. Runners were freshmen Escoda and Smith, sophomore Cameron Gonzales (Plainfield), and junior Mike Braley (Oxford). Westfield nipped the Warriors with a time of 8:38.23.
Junior Holly Dulak (Northford) was third among nine in the 600 (1:53.55).
Gosselin was third among ten in the 800 (2:34.76).
Knox was third in the mile (5:33.11) in a field of 17 runners, knocking an incredible 40 seconds off her only previous indoor mile race as a freshman in January of 2016.
Junior Brittany Kriley (Fair Lawn, NJ) was third among ten in the 600 hurdles (10.46)
Nick Afragola raced to third place in a field of 23 in the 60 (7.32) after placing seventh in the preliminaries in a time of 7.43.
Freshman Tyler Wright (Westport) won his heat in the 600 and placed third overall among ten with a time of 1:29.52 as the Warriors placed 3-4-5 in the event.