Track & Field: In Opener, McGill, Pinney Win Events; Freshman Brown Excels in 55

Lawrence McGill (left) won the 400 meters and freshman Ahriyan Brown (right) equalled the third-fastest time in program history at 55 meters when the Warriors opened their season at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Invitational Saturday.
Lawrence McGill (left) won the 400 meters and freshman Ahriyan Brown (right) equalled the third-fastest time in program history at 55 meters when the Warriors opened their season at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Invitational Saturday.

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Senior Lawrence McGill (New Haven) and sophomore Matt Pinney (Mansfield) each won individual events and freshman Ahriyan Brown (New Britain) began her collegiate career with impressive performances in two sprint events when the Eastern Connecticut State University men's and women's track & field teams opened their 2016-17 seasons at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Invitational Saturday at the Roland Field House.

Competing without a significant number of their veterans, the men and women both placed last in a three-team field. Coast Guard won the men's and women's competitions and Rhode Island College was second in both.

McGill bested a field of nine with a personal-best time of 52.72 at 400 meters. Pinney, who earned All-Little East Conference honors in the shot as a freshman, topped a field of seven in the event with a distance of 43- 1/2 , which was more than six feet better than runner-up Justin Jezuit of Coast Guard.

In her first meet, Brown equaled the third-fastest 55 meters in women's program history, clocking 7.72 in the final, which was good enough for third place. The time was .28 off the program record. At 200 meters, Brown placed second among 18 competitors in a time of 27.77.  

In other strong performances, sophomores Haley Knox (Bristol) and Christina Gosselin (Old Saybrook) placed 2-3 in the 800 and sophomore Chidebe Ndibe (West Hartford) and senior Jason Bindner (Milford) claimed 2-3 in the high jump.

 In the 800, Knox destroyed her previous best by nearly ten seconds with a time of 2:36.59. Running indoors for the first time and coming off  All-LEC honors in cross country, Samantha McKosky (Old Saybrook) ran the fifth-fastest 3,000 in program history (11:09.37), which carried her to second place.

Ndibe reached six-feet for the first time indoors, equaling the height of winner Sawyer Stanton of Coast Guard but losing on jumps. Bindner equaled his previous career best with a mark of 5-10.

Also for the men, freshman Zach Parisella (Hamden) captured second place in the 600 in his collegiate debut. Parisella was clocked in 1:28.65, which was just .46 seconds behind winning Luke Rehfuss of Coast Guard. Bindner was also fourth in a field of ten in the long jump (19-5 ¼) .

Eastern competes at the Plymouth State University Panther Invitational Saturday at 11 .m.

Men

1. U.S. Coast Guard 164; 2. Rhode Island College 83; 3. Eastern Conn. 79

Women

  1.  U.S. Coast Guard 135; 2. Rhode Island College 99; 3. Eastern Conn. 86