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Charity to benefit Be The Match is combined with Team IMPACT
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team and alumni will sponsor a Goal-a-Thon to benefit the Be The Match National Marrow Donor Program Saturday, April 20 at 9 a.m. at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
All proceeds from the Goal-a-Thon will benefit the Be The Match program in the name of Eastern soccer senior Jon DeCasanova, who was diagnosed with aplastic anemia this past fall and has spent most of the past eight months in the hospital.
The Goal-a-Thon involves Eastern players and alumni divided into teams of 4-6 and will play timed, small-sided games until a combined total of 100 goals are scored.The minimum sponsorship is 5 cents per goal.
Prior to the Goal-a-Thon, 15-year-old Tyler Belfleur of Canterbury will be outfitted in a team uniform and will join team members during official introductions as part of the Team IMPACT! Program. In June of 2012, Tyler was involved in an ATV accident and sustained brain injury. Since then, he has advanced from a wheelchair to a walk and now needs only a crutch. Prior to the injury, Tyler was active in soccer and basketball, among other sports.
Team IMPACT is a non-profit organization chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses. The goal of the organization is to harness the power of teamwork by matching those courageous kids with college athletic teams. Team IMPACT children are "drafted" onto local college athletic teams and to the greatest extent possible, become "official" members of the team for the duration of their treatment, and beyond.
Tyler will be "drafted" by the Eastern soccer team prior to the Goal-a-Thon.
To support the Goal-a-Thon through a financial contribution, contact Eastern head men's soccer coach Greg DeVito at 860-465-4334 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jonathan Mizger/Sports Information Staff
The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) has designated the month of March as National Athletic Training Month.
The theme of the second annual NATA month is Every Body Needs an Athletic Trainer. From the NATA toolkit, the goal is "to continue to reach those individuals and organizations that can help make a difference for athletic trainers when it comes to legislation, employment and public health."
At right: Athletic trainer Julie Alexander works recently with baseball catcher Ben Richards, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. (Daniela Marchitto photo)
Promoting the awareness of athletic training to people who do not know what athletic trainers do is a key goal that the NATA looks to achieve. Educating people of the importance of athletic trainers and establishing relationships between student-athletes and athletic trainers are things to consider in promoting the awareness.
Eastern Connecticut State University has athletic trainers who work hard without needing any recognition or high praise. The athletic trainers at Eastern are people who are helpful to the student-athletes and make sure each are cleared to play based on the guidelines on handling a specific injury.
Below (from left): Eastern athletic trainers Julie Alexander, Stevie Clines, Tom Holton, Jarrett Sorge.
Athletic trainer Julie Alexander, who graduated from Eastern with a B.S. in Psychology and went on to earn a M.S. in Athletic Training at Old Dominion University, expressed her feelings on the importance of this month and beyond.
"I think that we will carry out our day-to-day functions the same way we always have," said Alexander. "Any athlete that comes in with an illness or an injury that's athletically-related, we care for the same way regardless of whether it's March, April, May, August or September. I think this month of March is more to promote the field of athletic training to people who don't understand what it is that we do. A lot of people think athletic trainer, they think personal trainer, a strength coach, and while we do have some function in teaching strength and conditioning and techniques, we're also on the field emergency care, injury evaluation, treatment rehabilitation, returning to play concussion management, the list goes on and on."
Alexander, who was hired at her alma mater this past summer after many years at Division I Sacred Heart University, has been proud of helping out the people she has met in her field.
"After 20 plus years, I can tell you that anytime we have an injured athlete, the best day is the day that they return to their field of play," said Alexander. "That is probably the most exciting thing about what we do, especially if it's an athlete that's been injured, had surgical interventions, has gone through post surgical rehabilitation in our room; returning to play is those days I look forward to. I enjoy every day but those are the days that are special."
As there are upsides, there are downsides for being an athletic trainer. Athletic trainer Tom Holton, who earned a B.S. in Physical Education from Eastern and an M.S.S. in Sports Medicine from the U.S. Sports Academy, noted that he loves his job but dislikes when he lets the student-athlete know the bad news.
"I love doing my job it's just part of the job you hate saying 'you can't play'," said Holton. "I really wish I could come into work every day and not have to do that.. The reality of the fact is that there's people we have to hold out and tell them 'you're season's over, you got to have surgery' and deal with the emotions of that athlete and how they're going to handle 'my career is over'."
Holton, a staff member since 1999, noted how being able to get the student-athlete to get back in his or her field of play and watching him or her succeed is one of his proudest moments as an athletic trainer.
Eastern director of athletics Dr. Jeff Konin, another Eastern alum, has been an athletic trainer and a physical therapist. Konin mentioned how the importance of athletic trainers is not just for the collegiate level, but for all levels of competition.
"The purpose is to bring awareness to the general public, to bring awareness to the public of the importance of athletic trainers and the injury prevention care of the numerous student-athletes that participate in sports in all levels," said Konin. "At the high school level, less than 50 percent of high schools have an athletic trainer, and when every high school has programs but less than half of them have proper ways to care for the kids, that's why an awareness month is there to inform people of what they should be doing to provide appropriate programs. You wouldn't put them out there if you didn't have the fields, you wouldn't put them out there if you didn't have the coaches and you really shouldn't put them out there if you don't have the appropriate medical care for them."
As the spring season is starting to get into full-swing, so are the athletic trainers at Eastern working hard to make sure every student-athlete is evaluated and cleared to play. The month of March will be busy at Eastern with lacrosse, baseball, softball, and track & field. The Eastern athletic trainers will be the unsung heroes in helping our student-athletes, not only during national NATA month, but every month of the academic year.
"I have the best job in the world," said Alexander. "In this job, you don't sit behind a desk or do the same thing every day . Every day is different , and you get to work with amazing people who you want to see get better when they get injured.. What's better than that?"
By Jason Tierinni/Sports Information Staff
Since its inception in 1927, the Manchester Road Race has become a Connecticut tradition on Thanksgiving morning, with upwards of 15,000 runners competing in the 4.7 mile race which is the third-largest distance race in New England.
At left: Ryan Franklin directs the youngsters during the Little Manchester Road Race.
Many groups have benefited from the popularity of nationally-renowned race, most notably the Muscular Dystrophy Association , the major benefactor - along with nearly 20 local charities.
In recent years, many area youngsters have enjoyed an association with the race through the creation of the Little Manchester Road Race, which is staged the Saturday before the Big Manchester Road Race.
And this year, members of the Eastern Connecticut State University track and field and cross country programs were there to ensure that the youngsters enjoyed themselves.
The Little Manchester Road race was started in conjunction with the Manchester Road Race. It is a free race held for kids 12 and under and it helps give back to the community. The course run by the kids was developed in Charter Oak Park in Manchester.
Over 500 children ages 12 and under were involved and it required many people lending a helping hand to make this day a success -- not the least of whom were members of the Eastern running program who were there to perform numerous tasks so that this event run smoothly.
The Eastern athletes helped assist other volunteers with showing the kids around the trail. They also helped out with registration and distributed food and handed out medals.
Senior Ryan Franklin from Glastonbury was dressed as a rabbit and helped lead the way for the youngsters as he guided them through the course. Eastern first-year track and field and cross country coach Kathy Manizza said, "This experience is something they can be really proud of. It was a fun time and I know that our student-athletes enjoyed being part of something bigger."
Eastern's contribution to the race went beyond the day of the event. In the weeks prior to the race, the entire Eastern cross country team helped with shirt packaging and mailing.
The event also allowed the members of the team to bond away from practice. Manizza explained, "In track you have many different type of track members with sprinters, jumpers, throwers and distance runners. They don't all practice together , so this is something where they interact and get to know each other better outside of track practice."
Added Manizza, "This race is going to continue to grow and we are going to continue to grow with it."
Members of the track program who donated their time, in addition to Franklin, were Tim Callahan, Ariel Dupont, Katie France, Alexa Palasky, Kylie McCartney, Sam Lew, Samone Jones-McCarthy, Alex Maciolek, Chelsea Morsey, Emily Sniffin, Sherry Gilronan, Chris Brown, Kyle Bolden, D'Vonte Chambers, Fred Hewett, Dylan Kruppa, Steven LaFlamme, Andre Reynolds, and Luis Rosado.
In the month of giving, we should give thanks to these student-athletes who volunteered their time and efforts to this event. Eastern is proud of all of you.
A total of 23 Eastern Connecticut State University intercollegiate athletes were named to the Little East Conference's 2012 All-Academic Team for the fall season. That total gives Eastern 401 such honorees in the history of the award, which began in the fall of 2007. Since the fall of 2009, student-athletes must have reached sophomore academic and athletic status and have accumulated an overall grade-point average of 3.30 to earn a spot on the team. Listed below are this year's recipients. In parentheses is the total number of times they have achieved All-Academic status, including this fall.
Danielle Bourne (5), Sr., Women's Volleyball (Branford)
Lee Cattanach (1), So., Men's Cross Country (New London)
Jordan Clark (2), Jr., Men's Soccer (Manchester)
Christine DeFilippo (2), Women's Soccer (Ronkonkoma, NY)
Nicholas Demo (1), Men's Soccer (Brookfield)
Katie France (4), Women's Cross Country (Portland)
Nicki Gasch (1), Jr., Women's Volleyball (New Fairfield)
Kelly Gawron (2), Jr., Field Hockey (Ramsey, NJ)
Kaitlyn Kennedy (2), Jr., Women's Soccer (Burlington)
Kelly Labanara (1), So., Women's Cross Country (Chaplin)
Mackenzie MacLeod (3), Sr., Women's Soccer (Northfield)
Daniella Marchitto (5), Sr., Women's Soccer (Orange)
Erynn Miller (2), Jr., Women's Volleyball (Stratford)
Brittany Miskell (2), Sr., Women's Cross Country (Woodstock)
Jordan Munsell (5), Sr., Men's Soccer (Waterford)
Rochelle Normandin (3), Sr., Field Hockey (South Windsor)
Alexa Palasky (4), Jr., Women's Cross Country (Griswold)
Mike Radlbeck (2), Jr., Men's Soccer (Westbrook)
Sam Rossetti (1), So., Field Hockey (Shelton)
Rachael Skinner (1), So., Women's Soccer (Uncasville)
Cory Tobler (3), Sr., Men's Soccer (Portland)
Kelly Wallace (2), Sr., Women's Soccer (South Windsor)
Katie Wilson (2), Sr., Women's Volleyball (Pittsburg, CA)
Cross country runner bowling 'em over on professional duckpin circuit
By Jason Tierinni/Sports Information Staff
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Sophomore Kyle Shaw of Lebanon runs cross country for Eastern Connecticut State University, but one thing many people may not know about him is that he is a professional duckpin bowler, as well.
Shaw was in a youth duckpin bowling league until this past year. Now he is in an official professional duckpin bowling league. In his youth league, he competed in five or six tournaments a year, winning the national invitational tournament two years ago. That tournament is the big individual tournament that everyone really strives to win, Shaw exclaimed. Last year, he finished second in the national tournament, losing in the final by two pins. The five years prior to winning the national invitational tournament, Shaw was ranked in the top ten in the country for all boys.
To date, Shaw has competed in three professional duck pin bowling tournaments. He has not won any of those yet but says that "it's on my list to win a few."
Duckpin bowling has rules similar to ten-pin bowling. In ten-pin and in duckpin, bowlers try to knock down pins in the fewest rolls per frame. In duckpin, bowlers have three balls per frame but in ten-pin bowling bowlers have two balls per frame to knock over the set of ten pins.
The balls used in duckpin bowling are 4-3/4 in (12 cm) to 5 in (12.7 cm) in diameter, weigh 3 lb 6 oz to 3 lb 12 oz each, and lack finger holes.
In the youth league, everyone would get ranked by average at the end of the year. When Shaw first made the ranking at the age of 12 he was No. 38 in the country among all boys. Usually, no one under the age of 16 makes it into that ranking, pointed out Shaw. At the age of 14, he moved up in the ranking to No. 8. At age 15, he advanced to No. 2 in the country, and from then on, has had the No. 1 ranking for youth duckpin bowlers.
This past year -- his last in the youth league - Shaw's "pin fall" (number of pins knocked down per match) was 147.7 - more than 22 pins more than his nearest state competitor. "The top professional men's duckpin bowlers in the country average about 151-152," Shaw explained.
Heading into the men's professional duckpin bowling league, the 19-year-old Shaw was ranked No. 2 in the state, and in the top ten in the country among adults.
In order to maintain the success he had in the youth league and transfer it to the men's professional league, where he is bowling now, the 5-foot-9 inch, 130 pound Shaw says he needs to keep up his practice. "It shows when you don't practice for a while or don't practice as much." Shaw said. He also says that "one or two bad weeks can really hurt you in the long run." Shaw said that this year he hasn't started off "too hot." He knows it is the professional league now, but he says he doesn't bowl any differently than if he was bowling in the youth league. "Besides the fact that there is money on the table, I still go out and throw every ball I can the best I can."
Shaw originally got into duckpin bowling because his father, Lynwood, started working at Lucky Strike Lanes in Mansfield when Shaw was three-years-old. He began bowling by himself while his dad was working and eventually he "just got the hang of it", and has been bowling ever since.
The popularity of duckpin bowling has been on the decline in recent year. Thus, the number of alleys dedicated to duckpin bowling has been decreasing. Shaw said that there are only presently about eight lanes in the state dedicated to duckpin bowling , down from about 20 over the last ten years.
Shaw competes in a professional duckpin bowling league once a week and sometimes will compete in a tournament on a weekend. Despite carrying a full load of classes and training for cross country most every day, Shaw is normally at Lucky Strike practicing three-to-four-times a week, two-to- three hours per day, for an average of between eight and ten hours per week.
The primary difference between duckpin bowling and ten-pin -- other than the scoring -- has to do with the technique, says Shaw. "In ten-pin you have the large ball which can cover almost half the lane at once, where in duckpin, you can chop right through one pin. Physically, there is a lot more skill required in duckpin."
"There is a big mental game involved in duckpin bowling", explains Shaw. "In ten-pin you can hit the pocket one hundred different times and get ninety-nine different strikes. In duckpin, you could hit the pocket one hundred times and leave ninety nine different splits." Shaw believes that this is the reason why no one - incredibly -- has ever bowled a perfect game in duckpin.
The mental game Shaw needs for duckpin bowling is indeed similar to the one he needs for cross country. He says that throwing a bad ball in duckpin can be equivalent to having a bad mile split or bad race.
"You can't get down on yourself. You just got to keep going and do your best every single time no matter what," he says.
The biggest similarity Shaw drew from competing in a professional duckpin bowling league and running cross country is the discrepancy in attitudes that he observes.
"Everyone really seems to enjoy running cross country," he points out, "where in duckpin bowling, I see a lot of the guys doing it more for the money and not for the fun. That's where the term game starts to fade away." Shaw says he always tries to keep in the back of his mind that "it's just a game, don't get mad."
A goal for Shaw is to be the best professional duckpin bowler in the nation, but he cautions that "I will have to step it up because the guys at the top are tough."
Kathy Manizza, Eastern's cross country and track & field coach,
offers that "Kyle has a tough job of balancing work, two sports, and academics. He is also a commuter, so he can't give 100 percent to cross country like he would like to. I know at times this frustrates him -- because he knows he could be faster with more training -- but he also needs to devote time to bowling."
Manizza went on to say that Shaw, "is very conscientious about the team and not letting the team down, so he does the best he can." She then explained that, "He did not run track at Eastern last year, but he is going to give indoor a try this year, and then during the outdoor season, he will focus more on bowling."
On a normal day, Shaw finds himself going from class to cross country practice before stopping at home briefly to grab his gear and a quick bite to eat before going off to the lanes to practice bowling.
Throughout the day he must determine when he will have time to go bowling that week.
"Sometimes I am out the door at eight in the morning and my parents don't see me till ten at night." says Shaw of his jam-packed schedule.
But even with such a full schedule he feels that bowling is not a "schedule-packer but a relaxer" because it is fun. Manizza noted, "It's awesome that he's able to do so many things that he enjoys and is very good at."
If Shaw does have any down time in his crammed schedule and he isn't practicing picking up seven-ten splits, he can be found biking or running on a nearby trail.
He becomes men's first all-conference cross country runner in 17 years
WESTFIELD, Mass. - Eastern Connecticut State University's Lee Cattanach (New London) has been enjoying a strong season for the men's cross country team in 2012.
At right: Lee Cattanach
Saturday, this year's hard work was evident when the sophomore ran to a fifth-place finish in a field of 62 competitors involving six schools at the Little East Conference Championships over 8,000 meters at Stanley Park, in the process becoming the program's first all-conference performer since Todd Lohrman placed third as a senior in 1995 in a four-team competitive field.
In addition to all-conference honors, Cattanach also recorded the highest finish ever by an Eastern male runner and third-highest finish by an Eastern male or female when he placed seventh among 156 competitors in a 13-team field in New England Alliance scoring.
The first seven LEC runners across the line are accorded All-LEC accolades and the top 20 in the alliance scoring are recognized as All-New England Alliance.
Cattanach, who was 33rd in the conference and 57th in the alliance as a freshman last year at Massachusetts Dartmouth, was clocked in 26:21 Saturday. He was 11 seconds shy of third place in the LEC competition in a race won by Rhode Island College senior Conor McCloskey (25:37).
Based on last year's outcome Cattanach said that he would have been happy with a Top 20 finish this year, but re-assessed his prospects as this season progressed. "After running down into the low and mid (26:00s), I realized that most of the other top runners in the conference weren't running times that were beyond what I was capable of and I decided that all-conference was a completely reasonable goal," noted the second-year runner. "I was happy to put Eastern back on the podium -- I think it disrupted the status quo of the conference. Hopefully, this will bring some attention to our program."
Cattanach indicated that he trained as hard as he ever had this past summer, and that his success this fall makes him optimistic as the indoor and outdoor track seasons loom. "This race showed me I can compete with anybody in the conference come track season, and that I also have an enormous amount of space to improve."
Cattanach's strategy during the race:
"I knew that I would have to stick with the pack of Keene guys who would likely follow (eventual winner) McCloskey of RIC and USM's (Julian) Gazzelloni and try to throw down a fast last mile to break them. We were packed together pretty well up until about 2k when things started stringing out and I gradually lost contact with the top five guys. I stayed in about 7th place (in the LEC, 9th overall) from 3k until about 6.5k when I caught up to two Keene guys just after the fourth mile . I had a feeling they were slowing down, perhaps saving for a fast finish, so I tried to catch and pass them by the time we got back onto the big field for the finish with about 800 meters left.
''I knew that if I could get in front of both of them with half a mile to go they wouldn't catch me, especially when I was feeling as good as I was. I edged past both of them by the beginning of the field and made sure that if they wanted to beat me they'd have to really work for it. On the second to last turn with about 200 meters left I looked over my shoulder and saw them about ten seconds behind me and I knew they weren't catching me anymore. I tried to sneak up on the Bridgewater guy (David Phipps) a few seconds ahead of me, but ran out of room and crossed the line in seventh place overall, fifth for the conference. I don't think anybody expected to see me up there."
As a team, the Eastern men were fifth in the conference and eighth in the alliance.
For the Eastern women, senior Cora Gingras (East Hampton) and junior Katie France (Portland) ran as a pair, crossing the line four seconds apart (19:57-20:01) in 19th and 23rd place, respectively, in conference scoring, as the Warriors placed fourth among five teams in the conference over 8,000 meters. Eastern took seventh place in the alliance for the fourth straight year.
At left: Cora Gingras
France was Eastern's third runner a year ago at this meet and Gingras its second. Freshman Kylie McCartney (Manchester) was third for Eastern in a time of 20:25, posting an overall finish of 26th. Eastern's other scorers were junior Alexa Palasky (Griswold), who was 37th overall in the LEC race in a time of 21:13, and junior Kelly Labanara (Chaplin) , 47th overall in a time of 22:10.
The only Eastern runners to finish higher than Cattanach's seventh-place performance in the 16-year history of the alliance meet were female runners Karina Johnson, who was fourth as a freshman in 2007, and Monica Gallagher, fifth as a junior in 1997.
In LEC scoring behind Cattanach were sophomores David Klein (New Milford), the Warriors' No. 1 finisher in this race as a freshman last year, and Austin Baldour (Newtown), first-year junior Evan Glaude (East Hampton), and sophomore Kyle Shaw (Lebanon).
Klein and Baldour were just 15 seconds apart. Klein (28:39) was 40th overall, Baldour (28:54) 42nd, Glaude (29:48) 48th, and Shaw (30:15) 51st.
The Keene State College men and women swept the LEC and alliance championships. The Keene women edged the University of Southern Maine for their 13th straight LEC and alliance titles and the Keene men dominated it taking the LEC championship over runner-up and defending champ Southern Maine and the alliance crown over Bridgewater State. The Keene men grabbed six of the top nine spots in the LEC competition and the Keene women five of the top ten in conference scoring.
The Little East Conference field includes six institutions and the New England Alliance field includes six LEC schools and seven institutions from the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC).
The Eastern men and women race in the NCAA Division III national qualifier Nov. 10 at Stanley Park.
New England Alliance Championships
Run over 8,000 meters
1. Keene State College 36; 2. Bridgewater State U. 76; 3. U. of Southern Maine 83; 4. Westfield State U. 102; 5. Massachusetts Dartmouth 146; 6. Rhode Island College 174; 7. Fitchburg State U. 179; 8. EASTERN CONN. 239; 9. Worcester State U. 254; 10. Mass College of Liberal Arts 290; 11. Massachusetts Maritime Academy 307; 12. Massachusetts Boston 324; 13. Framingham State U.404.
(Points in parentheses)
7. (7) Lee Cattanach 26:21; 66. (49) David Klein 28:39; 68. (51) Austin Baldour 28:54; 87. (64) Evan Glaude 29:48; 95. (68) Kyle Shaw 30:15; 129. (82) Steven LaFlamme 32:48.
Little East Conference Championships
Run over 8,000 meters
1. Keene State College 28; 2. U. of Southern Maine 54; 3. Massachusetts Dartmouth 92; 4. Rhode Island College 102; 5. EASTERN CONN. 131; 6. Massachusetts Boston 162.
(Points in parentheses)
5. (5) Lee Cattanach 26:21; 40. (28) David Klein 28:39; 42. (30) Austin Baldour 28:54; 48. (33) Evan Glaude 29:48; 51. (35) Kyle Shaw 30:15; 58. (38) Steven LaFlamme 32:48.
New England Alliance Championships
Run over 5,000 meters
1. Keene State College 45; 2. U. of Southern Maine 52; 3. Westfield State U. 78; 4. Worcester State U. 142; 5. Massachusetts Dartmouth 167; 6. Bridgewater State U. 167; 7. EASTERN CONN. 196; 8. Fitchburg State U. 218; 9. Rhode Island College 262; 10. Framingham State U. 302; 11. Massachusetts Maritime Academy 310; ;12. Mass College of Liberal Arts 337; 13. Salem State U. 366.
(Points in parentheses)
28. (27) Cora Gingras 19:57; 33. (30) Katie France 20:01; 42. (37) Kylie McCartney 20:25; 64. (44) Alexa Palasky 21:13; 90. (58) Kelly Labanara 22:10; 98. (61) Alexandra Maciolek 23:00;100. (62) Courtney Magario 23:10; 107. Wendy Bouton 23:27; 112. Ariel Dupont 23:34; 115. Emily Sniffin 23:37; 130. Brittany Miskell 24:50.
Little East Conference Championships
Run over 5,000 meters
1. Keene State College 33; 2. U. of Southern Maine 38; 3. Massachusetts Dartmouth 93; 4. EASTERN CONN. 110; 5. Rhode Island College 117.
(Points in parentheses)
19. (18) Cora Gingras 19:57; 23. (20) Katie France 20:01; 26. (21) Kylie McCartney 20:25; 37. (23) Alexa Palasky 21:13; 47. (28) Kelly Labanara 22:10; 50. (29) Alexandra Maciolek 23:00;52. (30) Courtney Magario 23:10; 54. Wendy Bouton 23:27; 56. Ariel Dupont 23:34; 58. Emily Sniffin 23:37; 62. Brittany Miskell 24:50.
Men and women compete in meet dominated by Division I institutions
By Brendan Driscoll/Sports Information Staff
Gingras (far left), Klein
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - Senior Cora Gingras (East Hampton) and sophomore Lee Cattanach (New London) recorded the best times for the Eastern Connecticut State University men's and women's cross country teams on a rainy Friday afternoon at the Central Connecticut State University Mini-Meet at Stanley Quarter Park.
The meet - the fifth of the season for Eastern and final one until the Little East Conference Championships schedule in nine days -- consisted of mostly Division I schools. It was also a short course, the women running 3,000 meters and the men 5,000. The weather also had a significant impact on the runners. It rained heavily throughout the meet and the course became difficult to run. In one area of the course, there was a puddle that was ankle deep.
First-year head coach Kathy Manizza felt that the stiff competition did not show exactly how good the team is. She did feel like the race of this short length short benefit the team and it should put the team at peak performance for the conference championships on Saturday.
The women's team once again ran close together in the race, with all five of the scoring runners finishing within 73 seconds. The women's team finished 12th in the 14-team field, which consisted of 144 runners. Gingras ran first for Eastern with a time of 11:32 finishing 62nd (scoring 53 points). Gingras improved from a disappointing result in the previous meet at the New England Open Championships two weeks ago.
Junior Katie France (Portland) ran second for Eastern finishing just eight seconds behind Gingras, with a time of 11:40. Following France was freshman Kylie McCartney (Manchester) who finished just ten seconds behind, in 67th place. Junior Alexa Palasky (Griswold) and sophomore Kelly Labanara (Chaplin) were Eastern's fourth and fifth runners, recording times of 12:07 and 12:45, respectively.
Manizza believes that the women's team should have a very good performance in the upcoming conference championships. She hopes that four or five runners can run under 20 minutes when the team returns to Stanley Park in Westfield, Massachusettsfor the second time this year on Saturday.
In the men's field of 12 teams, Eastern finished 11th. Cattanach was Eastern's first runner with a time of 16:25, finishing 38th in the 115 person field (scoring 33 points). Sophomores David Klein (New Milford) and Austin Baldour (Newtown) finished just 33 seconds apart to finish as the second and third runners of Eastern. Sophomore Kyle Shaw (Lebanon) scored 68 points while being Eastern's No. 4 runner with a time of 18:53. Eastern's fifth runner was freshman Steven LaFlamme (Moosup) with a time of 21:11. Juniors Evan Glaude (East Hampton) and Mike Singletary (Hartford) did not race in an attempt to be healthy and rested for Saturday.
Manizza felt that the men may not have ran very well due to the tough competition. In the 12 team field, ten teams are Division I programs. However, she remains confident that they will come back strong this weekend. The short race last week and a light training week should put the team in a good position for Saturday.
At NE Open at Stanley Park, many runners submit personal-best times
By Brendan Driscoll/Sports Information Staff
WESTFIELD, Mass. - Junior Alexa Palasky (Griswold) and sophomore Austin Baldour (Newtown) recorded personal records for the Eastern Connecticut State University men's and women's cross country teams at the New England Open Championships Sunday at Stanley Park.
At left: Alexa Palasky (center)
In a meet in which Division III athletes competed with those from Division I and II, several Eastern runners recorded their best times of the season, despite the fact that the course was challenging.
The 5,000 (women) and 8,000 (men) meter courses both began in an open field leading to woods, which contained a narrow path. This path may have slowed runners due to the amount of roots and rocks, which lead to careful stepping the runners. The course also contained a significant steep hill that the women had to handle once at the 2.5-mile mark and the men had to run twice at the 3 and 4.5-mile marks (Eastern will also run this Oct. 27 at the Little East Conference Championships and Nov. 10 at the NCAA Division III national qualifier).
Women's team runs as a unit
The women's team ran as a tight pack throughout the race. The five scoring runners all finished within 57 seconds of each other. The women's team placed 35th in the 38-team field, which was comprised of 251 runners. According to head coach Kathy Manizza, Palasky had a breakthrough race as Eastern's second runner, recording a personal record time of 20:24. She recorded this time not knowing that she had bronchitis for the race.
The fact that the women's team ran in a pack helped throughout the race for Palasky who admitted that "running so close to my team definitely helped me relax and settle into the pace." She also added that at the 1.5 mile mark, a teammate began to break away from the group so her competitive nature made her try to stay with her. Palasky also hopes to improve her personal record in upcoming races this season. She hopes to stay healthy the rest of the season and with two more races at Stanley Park in the next month, she feels that better times are definitely possible.
Junior Katie France (Portland) finished first for Eastern with a time of 20:19, improving her time by 34 seconds from her previous run on this course last year. Another runner who recorded a personal record was freshman Kylie McCartney (Manchester) who was the third runner for Eastern with a time of 20:29, just 10 seconds behind France. Eastern's No. 4 runner was senior Cora Gingras (East Hampton) with a time of 21:03, while freshman Courtney Magario (Voluntown) clocked a time of 21:16 as the team's fifth and final scoring runner.
At left: Austin Baldour
Klein nets best time of 2012
In the men's field of 37 teams, Eastern finished 35th. Sophomore Lee Cattanach (New London) was Eastern's first runner with a time of 26:37, finishing 163rd in the 261 person field. This time was a little slower than Cattanach's time at the UMass Dartmouth meet due to the more difficult course layout. Sophomore David Klein (New Milford) recorded his best time of the season, finishing with a time of 27:54. Baldour ran for the first time this season due to an early-season injury. He recorded a personal record time of 28:23. Junior Evan Glaude (East Hampton) was Eastern's No. 4 runner with a time of 29:19 scoring 239 points and Kyle Shaw (Lebanon), a sophomore, was the fifth runner with a time of 30:54.
Even though the men's and women's teams did not score well in this ultra-competitive field, numerous runners ran well individually. The meet was a good experience for the team because it competed against some of the best teams at all levels in New England. Division I teams claimed the top four team places in both the men's and women's races Sunday, with Dartmouth winning the men's face and Boston College the women's race.
Manizza is confident the team is just going to get better and better throughout the season. Also the team will run this course two more times during the season, so it will be interesting to see the improvement over the next few meets.
The next meet for the Eastern cross country team will be Friday, October 19th at the Central Connecticut State University Mini-Meet in New Britain.
Sophomore Lee Cattanach crossed the finish line first for the Warriors Sunday at the 100th New England Open Men's Cross Country Championships over 8,000 meters at Stanley Park in Westfield, MA. Cattanach was 163rd overall in a field of 261 and Eastern placed 35th in a 37-team field of Division I, II and III runners. Following Cattanach for Eastern was sophomores David Klein (222nd) and Austin Baldour (226th), first-year junior Evan Glaude (240th) and sophomore Kyle Shaw. (253rd).