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Saturday, April  18, 2009

Seventeen personal bests fall for m-track at Springfield Invitational

                                                                                    Andrew Ricketts (below)

ricketts WEB_7963.jpg

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Freshmen Nick Pates (East Haven) and Andrew Ricketts (Hartsdale, NY) qualified for the New England Division III Championship and 14 individuals combined to establish 17 personal bests for the Eastern Connecticut State University men's track and field team Saturday at the Springfield College Invitational at Blake Track.

In its final tuneup for Saturday's Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championship Saturday, Eastern placed eight in a 13-team field by scoring 25 ½ points. MIT won the team title with 199 ½ points, significantly ahead of runner-up Westfield State College.

Pates and Ricketts both qualified for the New England Division III meet at 100 meters, and Pates additionally qualified in the 200. Ricketts shared fifth place among 37 competitors in the 100 in a personal-best time of 11.14. Competing in the event for the first time, Pates was timed in 11.40,  placing 15th.  In qualifying for the New England meet at 200 meters, Pates was clocked in a personal-best  time of 22.90 in racing to a 13th-place finish in a field of 45.

In addition to Ricketts and  Pates, a top performance was submitted  junior Dave Hunt (New Milford), who ran to an eight-place finish among 40 competitors at 1,500 meters.

Ricketts also posted a personal-best time at 200 meters, while  freshmen  T.J. Hair (Croton, NY) and Milan Sands (Springfield, MA) each recorded personal bests  in the throws. Both PR'd in the discus. Sands also established a personal standard in the hammer and Hair in the shot put.

Three Eastern runners at 800 meters and three at 5,000 meters also logged personal bests: Hunt and freshman Steven Clayton (North Haven)  and Andrew Orum (Griswold) at 800 meters and senior Anthony Mendes (North Windham) and  freshmen Ryan Hughes (Cheshire) and Bryan Jorge (Bristol). Two additional personal bests were achieved by junior David Tignonsini (Vernon) and freshman Stephen Spranzo (Colchester) in the 3,000 steeplechase, and one was turned in by freshman Bryan King (New Milford) in the high jump.

Others having already qualified for post-season competition are Pates at 400 meters, Spranzo in the steeplechase, freshman Alex Springer (Willimantic) in the long jump, and the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.

Last year, Eastern had its six-year run of Little East Conference outdoor championships ended by the University of Southern Maine, the Warriors placing third in LEC scoring. Eastern was seventh in the New England Alliance scoring as Westfield State College remained the only champion with its 11 straight team title.