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Track & Field: Women, Men Combine for 18 Firsts, Sweep Own Invitational

Track & Field: Women, Men Combine for 18 Firsts, Sweep Own Invitational

Highlights:

A total of five facility records were broken, two by Eastern athletes.

First-year senior Brendan Cullinane (South Windsor) won the triple jump in a field of six with a mark of 42-9 (13.03m), and was fourth in the long jump (21-1 ¼). Both were PRs.

In his first outdoor race at 5000 meters, freshman Ryan Escoda (Newtown) won in a field of three in a facility-record time of 15:46.75, bettering the 11-year-old mark of 16:16.81 set by Steve Swirsky, who was running unattached.

Senior Chidebe Ndibe (West Hartford) won the long jump in a field of 15 with a facility record and PR of  23-6 ¼ (7.17m). His jump was two feet farther than his nearest competitor and gave him his third first-place finish this year. The jump was the second-longest jump in program history, moving him ahead of former New England champion Clayton Kempain, who recorded a mark of 23-3 ¼ in outdoor post-season competition on May 9, 1993. All-America Jason Edwards holds the record of 25-2 1/2, set in national outdoor competition 20 years ago.

Freshman Rahman Oteng (Accra, Ghana) won the 100 in a field of 16 with a time of 10.98. The time was his second-fastest, only behind his program record of 10.78, set two weeks ago that stands as the top time in New England Division III this year (tied for 31st overall in Division III). Oteng edged former three-time Olympian Jurgen Themen of Suriname (11.00), who was running unofficially. Also running unattached, Eastern alumnus John Boisette – an assistant coach at Regis College -- was just .02 behind Themen.

Junior Zach Parisella (Hamden) won the 400 in a field of 19 in a time of 53:00, his second-fastest time ever.

Senior Matt Pinney (Mansfield) won the shot in a field of 22 with a mark of 45-4 ½ (13.83m). In his career at the Eastern Invite, he won twice and placed third twice.

Freshman Kyle Smith (Manchester) won the 3000 steeplchase in a time of 10:46.81, nine seconds faster than his previous best. Smith was the only official entrant in the race but still posted the top time running against 13 individuals from the UConn track club, winning by nearly a minute.

Freshman John Walker (Westerly, RI) won the 1500 in a field of 15 in a time of 4:14.58 and was followed by sophomore Maxwell Chace (Brooklyn) (4:16.31). Both set PRs.

Freshman Christopher Weir (Norwich) won the pole vault in a field of six with a mark of 13-6 ½ (4.13m), leading a 1-2-3 contingent of Eastern competitors which included freshman Cody Goodson (East Hampton) and sophomore Tai Barron (Mansfield). Weir and Goodson both set PRs.

The 4x100 relay won in a field of two in a time of 43.83 but also outran three teams from the UConn track club.  The Warriors bested Nichols College by nearly five seconds. Runners were graduate student Nick Afragola (Killingworth), sophomore Nicklas Brink (Stockholm, Sweden) and freshmen Tyler Lindquist (Worcester, MA) and Oteng.

In addition to contributing to the winning relay, Afragola was third in the 200 (23.13) and fourth in the 100 (11.42) that added ten points to Eastern's total.

Bolstered by Parisella's ten-point win in the 400, Eastern collected 20 points in the event, with juniors Mike Braley (Oxford) and Kevin Russell (Berlin) finishing 3-4 with times of 53.29 and, respectively. 53.84. Bridgewater State junior Josh Higgins was award second over Braley by .002 seconds.

MEN'S TEAM RESULTS

1. EASTERN CONN. 182; 2. Bridgewater State U. 176.5; 3. Nichols College 103.5; 4. Regis College 53; 5. Mass Maritime Academy 14.