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Track: Six are Individual Winners

At Coast Guard Invite, Chambers breaks women's 600 meter mark

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Chambers (far left), Kruppa

NEW LONDON, Conn. - Sophomore Nikki Chambers (East Hampton) broke the Eastern Connecticut State University women's 600 meter record in her first attempt and sophomore Dylan Kruppa (Torrington) and senior Cora Gingras (East Hampton) qualified for post-season competition in field events when the Warriors returned from a six-week break to compete at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Winter Track & Field Invitational Saturday at the Roland Fieldhouse.

Chambers outran a ten-person field to win the 600 in a record time of 1:41.96, nearly two seconds faster than the previous two-year-old mark. Kruppa, second in the long jump at Coast Guard last year, established a personal-best mark of 21-0 ¾ in winning the event for the first time in his career and qualifying for next month's New England Division III Championships  at Lewiston, ME. The distance was the tenth-longest in program history.

Both Eastern teams finished third in a four-team field with the Coast Guard men and women winning the competition, with the Westfield State University men and women second and the  Trinity College men and women fourth. The Eastern women totaled 44 points, the men 42.

Gingras and junior Lauren Hultzman (Putnam), who share the Eastern indoor high jump record at 5-3, both topped the field with marks of 5-2 ¼ Saturday in that event. Gingras was awarded first place, based on jumps, qualifying for the ECAC Division III Championships in March at the New Balance Track & Field Center in New York City.

In addition to Nikki Chambers, Gingras and Kruppa, other Eastern winners included juniors Katie France (Portland) and Fredrick Hewett (New London), the 4x200 men's relay (1:36.19) and 4x400 women's relay (4:21.13). France headed an 11-person field in the 3000 in a time of 11:22.02 for her first individual first-place finish in any event indoors or outdoors. Hewett won the 400 for the second time in as many years at Coast Guard, outpacing a field of 21 competitors in a time of 52.42. It was his second victory at 400 meters this season. Hewett also captured the 55 in a time of 6.71 in a field of 17 runners and anchored the winning 4x200 relay.

Teamming with Hewett on the winning men's 4x200 relay were sophomores Andre Reynolds (Hartford), and D'Vonte Chambers (West Haven) and junior Michael Singletary (Hartford). The winning women's 4x400 relay was comprised of juniors Akaya McElveen (New Haven) and Tacia Bryant (Guilford), senior Christine Charpentier (Monroe) and Nikki Chambers.

Contributing second-place finishes for the women were Bryant in the long jump (15-9 ¾), Gingras in the triple jump (33-2 ½), and Hultzman in the high jump (5-2 ¼). Picking up eight points with second-place finishes for the men in the 200 (24.09) and 55 hurdles (8.13) was Reynolds -- who ran the third-fastest 55 hurdles in program history in the final -- while D'Vonte Chambers was second to Hewett in the 55 (6.92). The 4x400 relay (3:35.02) was also second.

 Eastern visits Springfield College Saturday at 11 a.m.

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