WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Following a 20-day layoff, the Eastern Connecticut State University men's and women's cross country teams returned to competition Saturday at the 22nd Annual James Earley Invitational at Stanley Park.
For the third time in three races this year, senior co-captain Kassandrah Banks (Wethersfield) paced the women over the 5,000 meter course. Senior co-captain Ariel Smith (Stratford) overcame an early-season injury to run her first race of the season, while junior Haley Knox (Bristol), who ran second to Banks in the first two races of the season, did not compete.
Senior co-captain Cooper Goslin (South Windsor) led the men for the second time in three races over 8,000 meters, while freshman Maxwell Chace (Brooklyn) – who finished either first or second for the Warriors in the first two meets of the season -- did not run due to injury.
The women placed among the top 50 percent by taking 15th place among 33 teams, while the men were among the top 55 percent with a 20th place finish among 37 scoring teams.
Among three other competing Little East Conference institutions, the women scored ahead of UMass Dartmouth (by 12 points) and Rhode Island College and finished seven places back of Plymouth State. The men also outran Rhode Island College but trailed Plymouth State and UMass Dartmouth.
Behind Banks (19:49), whose overall 37th-place finish ranked her among the top 14 percent in the 257-person field, the Warriors other four scoring runners finished within 38 spots and 28 seconds of one another. Sophomore Rachel Osak (Portland) was 77th (20:39), senior Amanda Terenzi (Coventry, RI) 88th (20:46), junior Samantha McKosky (Deep River) 95th (20:52) and freshman Sylvia Lawrence (Woodstock) 119th (21:07).
Goslin's time of 27:49 earned him 35th place overall among 266 competitors (top 13 percent). Freshman Brian Balkus (Ashford) followed at 67th (28:36), senior co-captain Noah Hallisey (East Lyme) at 100th (29:15), first-year senior Sean Bodnar (Watertown) 171st (31:35) and freshman Sean McHugo (Coventry) rounded out the five scorers at 188th (32:19).
Eastern competes at the Connecticut College Invitational Saturday at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford at 11 a.m.