ROXBURY, Mass. -- In a meet which featured 100 or more individuals in some events and upwards of 16 heats, the Eastern Connecticut State University men's and women's track and field team posted 13 Top 10 finishes Saturday at the season-opening Seventh Annual University of Massachusetts Boston Winter Open at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center.
In addition to the Top 10 finishes, four individuals – two of them freshmen in the first collegiate meet-- qualified for the New England Division III Championships in late February.
Headlining the team's numerous individual accomplishments was freshman Ryan Escoda (Newtown), who outran a field of 29 to capture the 3,000 meter race in a time of 8:52.94 and also ran to a fourth-place finish in a field of 69 with a time of 4:32.16 in the mile -- the ninth-fastest mile in program history. His time in the 3, 000 – which was the second-fastest time in program history and less than four seconds off the record held by All-America Lee Cattanach – qualified him for the New England Championships.
Three of the top five runners for the women's cross country team this past fall – all seniors --recorded top three finishes in different events Saturday. Christina Gosselin (Old Saybrook) was second in a field of 22 at 1,000 meters in a time of 3:18.17; Samantha McKosky (Deep River) was third among 49 in a time of 5:21.45 in the mile which qualified her for post-season competition, and Haley Knox (Bristol) took third in a field of 18 in the 3,000 in a time of 10:54.75.
Also qualifying for the New England meet were freshman Christopher Weir (Norwich) in the pole vault and junior JahDey Wright (Colchester). Weir was third among 21 in the pole vault (13-7 ¼) and Wright third among 28 in the triple jump with a mark of 42-11 ¾. Event winner Morgan Latham, who competed unattached, was the only competitor to exceed Weir's height.
Additional Top 10 Finishers:
Senior Brianna Starkey (Columbia) shared sixth place in the pole vault (8-6 ¼).
Sophomore Tai Barron (Mansfield) was seventh in the pole vault (13-1 ½)
Freshman Tyler Wright (Westport) was seventh in the 800 (2:06.29).
Freshman Kyle Smith (Manchester) was eighth in the 800 (2:06.45).
Graduate student Nick Afragola (Killingworth) was 8th in a field of 148 in the 200 (23.20).
Senior Matt Pinney (Mansfield) was tenth in a field of 72 in the shot put (43-1 ¾)
Of note: Freshman Rahman Oteng (Accra, Ghana) missed qualifying for the finals of the 60 by .01. He was timed in 7.22 and had the ninth-fastest time in a field of 115 in the prelims.
Eastern competes at the Rhode Island College Invitational Saturday at the Providence Career and Technical Academy at 10 a.m.