Quinones wins women's race; freshmen pace men's team at finish line
MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Senior Amanda Quinones (Trumbull) won the individual title for the Eastern Connecticut State University women's cross country team but Rhode Island College captured the top three places in the men's competition Saturday morning at Mansfield Hollow State Park.
At left: Amanda Quinones
The Rhode Island men and women both defeated Eastern for the third straight year. The Eastern women were edged for the second straight year by a score of 27-28. A five-point winner over Eastern in 2009 and 2010, the RIC men's team recorded a 13-point, 21-34 decision this year.
In the only dual meet race for either team this year, Quinones (20:04) eased to the individual title in a field of 16 in the women's competition over the 5,000 meter layout. Quinones, who had finished second in this race in each of her two previous tries the last two years, outran RIC freshman Alyssa O'Connor.
For the women, the score was tied after each squad had put its No. 4 runners across the finish line, and was determined when RIC senior Brittany Richer outran Eastern first-year sophomore Kelly Labanara (Chaplin) for ninth place.
At right: Lee Cattanach
Running her first race of the season, Eastern freshman Ashley Westman (Newington) finished a solid fifth - third among Warriors behind Quinones and junior Cora Gingras (East Hampton). Also placing among Eastern top five scoring women was sophomore Alexa Palasky (Griswold). Eastern was without sophomore No. 3 runner Katie France (Portland).
Coming off an eighth-place finish last Saturday at the James Earley Invitational at Westfield, MA, RIC was powered Saturday by the 1-2-3 finish of junior Conor McCloskey and freshmen Shawn Stadnick and Ian LaPlume.
McCloskey (24:03), second to teammate Mike Macedo last year and third to Eastern's Dave Hunt and Macedo in 2009 in this race, won by 48 seconds over Stadnick (24:51) and more than a minute over LaPlume (25:07).
Eastern featured three freshmen leading the way for the team in Lee Cattanach (New London), David Klein (New Milford) and Austin Baldour (Newtown). Cattanach (25:18) was fourth overall, Klein (25:19) fifth and Baldour (25:22) seventh. Also figuring in the scoring for the Warriors were junior Tim Callahan (Portland) and junior Ryan Franklin (Glastonbury). Callahan (25:29) was eighth overall, Franklin (25:57) tenth.
The Eastern men and women compete in the Little East Conference/New England Alliance Championships at North Dartmouth, MA.