COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – In its first meet of the outdoor season, the Eastern Connecticut State University men's and women's track & field teams made a splash at the Ursinus College Outdoor Invitational Saturday, winning five events and placing among the top 30 percent of the competitors a total of 23 times.
Twenty-four organizations were represented at the non-scoring invitational – 17 colleges mostly from the Mid-Atlantic region, and seven clubs, alumni teams and unattached competitors. Competitors battled strong winds throughout the meet.
Individual winners included seniors Haley Knox (Bristol) and Chidebe Ndibe (West Hartford), junior Hayley Brodeur (Old Saybrook), and freshman Ryan Escoda (Newtown). The men's 4x100 relay also claimed a No. 1 finish.
Knox (12.24.70) and Escoda (10:16.60) won the women's and men's 3000 steeplechase, respectively, Ndibe (22-9 3/4/6.95m) the long jump and Brodeur (1:01.78) the 400. The men's 4x100 posted a winning time of 44.81. Knox holds the women's 3000 steeplechase record of 11:46.63, set at last May's New England Championships at MIT.
Placing among the top 30 percent of their events: In addition to the steeplechase, Escoda was fourth in a field of 55 in the 1500 (4:19.74), senior Matt Pinney (Mansfield) third among 23 in the shot put (44-1 ½ /13.45m), freshman Kyle Smith (Manchester) 13th among 52 in the 800 (2:09.59), freshman Tyler Lindquist (Worcester, MA) tenth among 38 in the 200 (23.60), junior Zach Parisella (Hamden) 14th in a field of 52 in the 800 (2:09.63), freshman John Walker (Westerly, RI) 4th among 15 in the 5000 (16:40.01), and senior Brendan Cullinane (South Windsor) sixth among 22 competitors in the long jump (20-7 1/4/6.28).
Complementing Knox' and Brodeur's winning efforts for the wome was sophomore Lauren Bresson (Roxbury), who raced to second place in a field of 44 individuals in the 800 (2:33.70).
Among the many others placing among the top 30 percent in an event were senior tri-captain Christina Gosselin (Old Saybrook), sophomore Jasmine Conduah (Fairfield), freshman Manar Enany (Fairfield), juniors Brittany Kriley (Fair Lawn, NJ), Rachel Osak (Portland), Samara Johnson (Lebanon), and Maggie Dulak (Northford) and Holly Dulak (Northford), and the 4x400 relay.
Gosselin was fifth among 49 in the 1500 (5:21.50) and ninth among 44 in the 800 (2:39.54), Conduah second in a field of 19 in the high jump (4-9 (1.45m), Enany (who competed in four events) fourth in a field of 29 in the shot (32-7 1/2/9.94m), Kriley third among 19 in the high jump (4-9/1.45m), Osak second in a field of 11 in the 5000 (20:04.09), Samara Johnson tenth among 49 in the 1500 (5:25.87), Maggie Dulak 11th among 49 in the 1500 (5:26.09), and Holly Dulak 11th among 44 in the 800 (2:40.22). The 4x400 relay was timed in 4:26.17 in placing second among 11 relays.
Competing in the 10,000 meters for the first time, freshman Maggie Santacroce (Bristol) and sophomore Jenna Chernik (South Windsor) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in a field of six in times of 45:48.75 and 45:48.94, respectively.
Eastern participates in the Massachusetts Dartmouth Invitational Saturday at 11 a.m.