The Warriors celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Eastern Invitational with a third-place finish that included six firsts and one facility record. Eastern accumulated 122 points for a solid third-place finish behind meet champion Bridgewater State University (175) and Division II Franklin Pierce University (151). Wheelock College (32) and Massachusetts Maritime Academy (16) rounded out the five-team field. Also competing but not scoring was the University of Connecticut club team and several unattached competitors. Recognized before the start of the meet's running events was the team's only senior, tri-captain Mariah McPhee (Bristol), who is a four-year outdoor track & field and cross-country letterwinner and member of the outdoor record-setting 4x800 relay.
Led by sophomore Haley Knox (Bristol) – the program's indoor recordholder at 1000 meters – Eastern had four runners compile points in the 800. Knox broke the four-year-old facility record with a winning and personal-best time of 2:23.08, which was less than a second off the previous facility record. Also scoring in the 15-person race were sophomore Christina Gosselin (Old Saybrook), and junior tri-captains Kassandrah Banks (Wethersfield) and Rachel Berkowsky (Stoughton, MA). Gosselin was fourth (2:32.01), Banks fifth (2:32.28) and Berkowsky sixth (2:32.70).
Joining Knox as individual winners were Banks, McPhee, sophomore Brianna Starkey (Columbia), freshman Brittany Kriley (Fair Lawn, NJ) and the 4x400 relay. Banks led five runners in the 5000 (19:18.10) and McPhee outran a field of 14 in the 1500 (PR of 5:02.52). Starkey's height of 8-6 ¼ (2.60m) bested a field of six, Kriley was first among three in the high jump (4-10 1/4/1.48m) and the 4x400 relay of Knox, Gosselin, Berkowsky and freshman Hayley Brodeur (Old Saybrook) outdid four other competing relays in a time of 4:22.36.
Eastern had six of the 14 entrants in the 1500, with McPhee, sophomore Samantha McKosky (Deep River) and freshman Samara Johnson (Lebanon) all scoring points. McKosky (5:06.90) was second only to McPhee, and Johnson was fourth (5:09.76)
Freshman Annie Coleman (East Haven) competed in three individual events, winning eight points with a second-place finish only to Starkey in the pole vault (8-0 1/2/2.45m).She was also tenth in a field of 20 in the 100 (13.86) and 11th among 16 in the 200 (28.91).
In addition to anchoring the relay, Brodeur was Eastern's top finisher (third) in a field of 16 in the 200 (27.21) and was ninth among 20 in the 100 (13.63) as the Warriors' second runner across the line.
Freshman Ahriyan Brown (New Britain) chipped in three points in the 100 (fifth place) and 200 (sixth) with times of 13.49 and 27.93, respectively.
The invitational was the final one before Saturday's Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championships, which will be hosted by Westfield State University.