DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Led by senior co-captain Kassandrah Banks' (Wethersfield) finish among the top 12 percent, the Eastern Connecticut State University women's cross country team outran three of four Little East Conference opponents en route to 16th place in a field of 40 complete teams Saturday at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Invitational.
Banks and junior Haley Knox (Bristol) placed among the top 100 in a field of 299 individual finishers and the Warriors totaled 473 points, significantly better than Little East Conference rivals Massachusetts Dartmouth (24th place/651 points), University of Southern Maine (27th/733) and Rhode Island College (31st/796).
Led by senior co-captain Cooper Goslin's (South Windsor) top 100 finish in a field of 315 individuals over 8,000 meters, the men matched their team finish of a year ago (23rd) but did it this season in a field of 40 (seven more than a year ago). The Warriors totaled 654 points. Four of their five scoring runners finished among the top 43 percent – and within 49 seconds and 39 spots of each other -- but their final scorer slipped to 226th overall.
In the women's race, while Banks outran all Little East competitors but one in posting a personal-record time of 19:29 (6:17 pace) over the 5,000 meter course, Knox was not far behind, outrunning all but four LEC opponents in coming in 99th overall in a time of 20:27 (6:35 pace). Eastern's final three scoring runners crossed the finish line within 11 seconds and 13 places of each other: junior Samantha McKosky (Deep River), senior co-captain Amanda Terenzi (Coventry, RI) and freshman Sylvia Lawrence (Woodstock). The team's top five was a repeat of a week ago, although McKosky and Lawrence traded places.
McKosky (20:39) was 115th overall, Terenzi (20:48) 124th and Lawrence (20:50) 128th. Rounding out the top seven were sophomore Rachel Osak (Portland) and junior Christina Gosselin (Old Saybrook) who filled in at 155th (21:24) and 156th (21:25), respectively.
Goslin ran his best time (27:51) at this invitational – 27 seconds faster than 2015 and four seconds better than that of his freshman season. Freshman Maxwell Chace (Brooklyn) – who led the team at last week's season-opener at Wickham Park in Manchester – was second among Eastern runners. Chace was just 11 seconds off Goslin's pace and just nine spots behind the team leader. He was 107th overall in a time of 28:02.
Freshman Brian Balkus (Ashford) and senior co-captain Noah Hallisey (East Lyme) repeated as the team's 3-4 runners from a week ago, with first-year sophomore Zachary Parisella (Hamden) sliding in this week as the No. 5 finisher. Balkus was 128th (28:29), Hallisey 137th (28:41) and Parisella 226th (32:08). Hallisey was competing in the race for the fourth and final time in his career, placing among the top 43 percent as compared to his top 53 percent showing as a junior.
Eastern participates in the Westfield State University James Earley Invitational at Stanley Park Oct. 7 at 10:30 a.m.