BRUNSWICK, Maine – Experiencing the NCAA Division III New England Division III Regional Cross Country Championships was a first-time experience for five of the six competing Eastern Connecticut State University men's runners Saturday.
With that being said, the young Warriors represented themselves in fine fashion, placing in the top 60 percent of 58 scoring teams with a 33rd-place finish in a massive field of nearly 400 runners run in wet and cold conditions over 8,000 meters Saturday.
Freshmen Ryan Escoda (Newtown) and John Walker (Westerly, RI) completed their first seasons by finishing 1-2 for the Warriors this year in all seven races – coming in 76th and123rd overall – before a close pack of three comprised Eastern's remaining scoring runners.
Escoda and Walker – both of whom finished among the Top 20 at the Little East Conference Championships Oct. 27 – were timed in 26:39 and 27:22, respectively. With No. 3 runner Maxwell Chace (Brooklyn), a sophomore, out with illness, sophomore Brian Balkus (Ashford), freshman Jorich Swift (Mansfield) and sophomore Parker Nadeau (North Branford) finished within two minutes of each other. Balkus (29:11) was 227th, Swift (29:16) 231st and Nadeau (31:00) 297th. Nadeau was the team's No. 8 runner at the Little East meet two weeks ago.
Competing in the New England Championships for the third straight season, fourth-year senior Ryan Adams (Manchester) completed Eastern's six-man contingent by placing 345th in a time of 33:02.