BOSTON – Youth was served for the Eastern Connecticut State University men's and women's cross country teams Saturday, both teams charging to fourth-place finishes at the Suffolk University Invitational Saturday at Franklin Park.
In one of the largest regular-season meets of the season, three Eastern sophomores finished among the Top 20 in a field of 245 finishers on the men's side, while a sophomore and three freshmen were among the women's top seven in a field of 202 finishers.
For the men, Ryan Escoda (Newtown) was fourth overall, with John Walker (Westerly, RI) 17th and Tyler Wright (Westport) 19th. The women were led by freshman Keara Fontaine (North Kingstown, RI), who was 18th overall, with sophomore Maggie Santacroce (Bristol) as Eastern's fifth finisher and freshmen Kailey Schmarr (Southington) and Emma Bournival (Kent) rounding out the top seven.
A fourth sophomore – Jorich Swift (Mansfield) -- was the men's No. 4 runner,at 39th overall, with junior Brian Balkus (Ashford) completing the top five in 54th place overall. Joining the four underclassmen for the women were 2-3-4 runners finishing within seven places and 23 seconds of each other: Samara Johnson (Lebanon), Maggie Dulak (Northford), and Rachel Osak (Portland), all seniors. Johnson was 29th overall, Dulak 31st and Osak 35th.
Eastern competes at the Little East Conference Championships Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. at UMass Dartmouth.