By Matt Sinkewicz / Sports Information Staff
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- After their third meet of the season Saturday at the University of Massachusetts Invitational, the Eastern Connecticut State University men and women's cross-country teams are in full swing.
Even though both teams were missing some of their top runners because of injury, second-year head coach Kathy Manizza was very proud of her squad. "A lot of the time, the team runs as individuals, but (Saturday) they really ran together as a team. The team chemistry is amazing this year," she said.
The men's team finished 18th out of 28, and the women finished 13th out of 29. Last year at the same meet, the teams finished 28th and 25th, respectively. For the third straight race, first-year sophomore transfer Taylor Flynn (Old Saybook) led the way for the men and junior Kelly Labanara (Chaplin) was first across the line for the women.
Injuries are a big storyline for the cross-country teams. The men's team is missing its top runner from last year. Also, freshman Dustin Plourde (Norwich) aggravated a stress fracture during the race. For the women, senior Katie France (Portland) has been out all season with an injury.
Coach Manizza hopes everyone will be healthy in time for Little East Conference Championship Nov. 2 at the University of Southern Maine. Eastern is idle this Saturday but returns to action Oct. 5 at the Community College of Rhode Island Tri-State Open.
Run over 8,000 meters
(Eastern finished 18th in a field of 28 teams)
78. (72) Taylor Flynn 28:22; 98. (91) Joe Rainville 28:51; 114. (107) Steven LaFlamme 29:09; 140. (127) Michael Dolde 30:13; 154. (139) Mike Underwood 30:44; 169. (152) Dustin Plourde 31:37; 180. (161) Chris Burkle 32:47; 182. (--) Chris Armstrong 32:51.
Run over 5,000 meters
(Eastern finished 13th in a field of 29 teams)
43. (42) Kelly Labanara 20:06; 55. (53) Sofia Amaral 20:21; 60. (58) Mariah McPhee 20:28; 95. (92) Julie Trifone 21:10; 101 (98) Alexa Palasky 21:19; 141. (136) Kelsey Nixon 22:20; 165. (157) Kailynn Violette 23:45.