The weekend produced one team champion, four New England Championship qualifiers, four individual event champions, and two program records, with 40 individuals (20 men, 20 women) contributing to team points at Saturday's Mount Holyoke College Spring Fling.
At Friday night's Connecticut College Silfen Invitational, Eastern was represented by juniors Samantha McKosky (Deep River) and Haley Knox (Bristol) competed in the 1,500 and 800, respectively, during the elite distance portion of the meet. McKosky broke her own record with a time of 4:46.88 – five seconds faster than her winning time at the Warrior Invitational two weeks earlier – good enough to qualify for next month's New England Division III Championships. In an impressive field of 28 runners, McKosky won her heat and was eighth overall. Knox was timed in 2:25.77 in her event, placing 19th in a field of 29.
Saturday at Mount Holyoke, the men and women's teams both excelled. With 20 different individuals contributing points, the women won the team title among 13 teams which scored point. The women piled up 148 points for a 16-point victory over Little East Conference foe UMass Boston. Twenty different individuals also contributed points for the men, who collected 119 for a third-place finish among 11 teams which scored points.
In the 3,000 steeplechase Saturday, Knox broke the eight-year-old program record by 16 seconds with a time of 12:17.28 – 27 seconds faster than her previous best this year -- which was good enough for second place in a field of seven.
Among the women's top point-getters were McKosky in the 5,000, sophomores Brittany Kriley (Fair Lawn, NJ) in the hurdles and high jump and Ahriyan Brown (New Britain) in the sprints and freshman Marissa Yambao (Stonington) in the throws.
McKosky stopped the clock at 18:57.82 to take first place (10 points) in a field of 16 in the 5,000 as the only runner to break 20 minutes
Kriley was third in the 100 hurdles (16.38) – qualifying for New England competition in the process – and third in the high jump (4-11/1.50m) and fifth in the 400 hurdles (1:18.26). She totaled a team-high 16 points in those three events.
Brown qualified for post-season competition in both the 100 (12.87) and 200 (26.10), placing third in both to add 12 points to the women's total. In a field of 39 runners in the 200, Brown was less than a second off the 35-year-old program record and among 35 runners in the 100, was less than a half-second off the 14-year-old program record.
Yambao contributed 13 points – second-most on the team – by placing second among nine competitors in the hammer (125-9/38.32m) and fourth in a field of 16 in the discus (84-0 (25.61m).
Additional Top 3 finishers for the women were second-place finishers freshmen Lauren Bresson (Roxbury) in the 800 and Jasmine Conduah (Fairfield) in the high jump, and senior Amanda Terenzi (Coventry, RI) in the 10,000 and third-place finishers senior Ariel Smith (Stratford) in the 10,000, junior Fanta Faro (New Haven) in the 400, sophomore Savannah Johnson (Ledyard) in the javelin, and freshman Arlene Blackwell (Winsted) in the 400 hurdles.
Among nine competing institutions, the 4x400 women's relay was second in a time of 4:20.06 and the 4x100 placed third in a time of 52.00. The 4x400 was comprised of Knox, junior Raquel Romano (Southington), Bresson and Faro, with the 4x100 team consisting of Brown, Romano, Faro and Savannah Johnson.
For the men at Mount Holyoke, senior Cooper Goslin (South Windsor) was a double winner, collecting 20 total points with first-place finishes in the 800 (2:06.07) and 1,500 (4:13.68). Goslin gave Eastern a 1-2 finish in the 1,500 with freshman runner-up Brian Balkus (Ashford) clocking a 4:18.47.
Junior Matt Pinney (Mansfield) and freshman Nicklas Brink (Stockholm, Sweden) both qualified for the New England Division III Championships, Pinney in the shot (44-9/13.64m) and Brink in the 200 (22.98). Pinney amassed 16 total points with second-place finishes in the shot and discus (129-6/39.47m).
In a field of 40 runners, Brink was seventh in the 200.
Additional impressive performances for the men were submitted by senior Nick Afragola (Killingworth), juniors Chidebe Ndibe (West Hartford) and Dominic Rizzitano (Medfield, MA), sophomore Zach Parisella (Hamden), and freshman Ryder Fitch (Canterbury).
Nick Afragola was sixth in a field of 36 in the 100 (11.29), Ndibe tied for second in a field of 28 in the long jump (20-9.25/6.33m), Rizzitano eighth among 27 competitors in the 800 (2:11.66), Parisella fourth in the 800 (2:08.18) and Fitch fifth among 19 in the javelin (136-4/41.56m).
The men and women host their second outdoor invitational this spring Friday at 2 p.m. in their final tune-up before the New England Alliance/Little East Conference Championships April 28 at Bridgewater State University.