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Iron-Willed Manizza is World Qualifier

By Matt Sinkewicz / Sports Information Staff

Kathy Lake T72dpi.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Move over Robert Downey Jr... There's a new Ironman in town: Eastern Connecticut State University cross country and track and field coach Kathy Manizza is training to compete in next year's World Ironman 70.3 Championship at Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.

This past summer, 59 Ironman competitions were held around the world, and the winners from each age group qualified to compete at Mont-Tremblant, which is located about 80 miles north-west of Montreal in the Laurentian mountains.  Manizza qualified by winning her age group (55-60 years old) in an Ironman competition in Gilford, NH on Aug. 18.

An Ironman 70.3 competition consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run.  Manizza's time for the qualifying event was five hours, 29 minutes, 54 seconds.  To put that time in perspective, the average time for a woman in her age group is about 7 hours.  Her incredible performance was over an hour and a half faster than the average competitor.

This type of performance obviously demands a strict training regime. Manizza trains about 15-20 hours per week.  She bikes about 180 miles, and runs about 30 miles every week.  When asked about her swimming, she admitted to hating it.  However she still pushes herself to swim three or four days every week. She has a strict vegan diet, and she does not eat any processed foods.  When asked how she stays motivated, she responded, "My husband Ken is a competitor too.  I enjoy training with him because he is always pushing me to do my best."

Manizza is in her second stint on the Eastern coaching staff.  Born in Hawaii, and a graduate of Cal State Fresno, Manizza coached cross-country and track at Eastern in the mid-1990s before spending 13 seasons at the University of Hartford.

Manizza has been active her entire life.  She first became involve in triathlons about 30 years ago.  Since that time, she has run in seven marathons, many more half-marathons, and countless 5K and 10K races.   She was also a member of the U.S. Canoe and Kayak team, which won the world championship three times.

Manizza is the kind of person that wants to be the best.  She does marathons and triathlons because she loves being fit and active, and she truly believes that leading an active lifestyle leads to happiness.  Also, she wants to be a role model for her cross country and track teams.  She trains hard, and her hard work pays off.  She is an inspiration to everyone.

Hall of Fame:Edwards Makes the Leap

Four-time long jump All-America also captured five NE titles in career

edwards_head_72dpi_2448.jpgHallofFame_logo72.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. -  The most accomplished athlete in Eastern Connecticut State University track and field history, Jason Edwards has been selected to the Eastern Connecticut State University E-Club Hall of Fame, it has been announced by Hall of Fame chairman Scott Smith.

The 6-foot-2 inch, 190 pound Edwards is the only member of the Eastern men's or women's track program to earn All-America honors as many as four times in a career which spanned the years between 1997 and 2002. The Old Saybrook native finished sixth or higher in NCAA Division III national long jump competition four times and also claimed five New England championships.
The 20th E-Club Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Reception is scheduled for Saturday, October 19  at the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center. A 5 p.m. social will precede the 6 p.m. ceremony and a buffet will follow the two-hour program. Tickets are priced at $50 and must be reserved in advance by contacting Scott Smith at 860-465-4326 or at

In his career, Edwards gained All-New England or All-ECAC accolades a total of 21 times indoors and outdoors in the long jump and 100 and 200 meters. He additionally captured 30 Little East Conference and New England Alliance individual championships in the long jump and at distances between 55 and 400 meters, and was part of four relays which took LEC/NEA titles.

Eleven years removed from his four-year career, Edwards still holds the New England Alliance and Little East Conference indoor (23-8) and outdoor (24-9 ¼) and Eastern indoor (24-5 ¾) and outdoor (25-2 ½) long jump records, as well as current Eastern indoor (22.19) and outdoor (21.74) records at 200 meters and the indoor record of 3:52.68 in the sprint medley relay.

At the time of graduation, Edwards additionally held Eastern records at 55 meters (6.61) and 100 meters (10.84), as well as with the 4x400 meter relay (3:20.33). The time of 43.19 with the 4x100 meter relay and his 400 meter time of 51.43 were the second and third-fastest, respectively, all-time at the time of his graduation.

edwards72_7580.jpgThe former All-New England and All-State sprinter at Old Saybrook HS equaled or exceeded the NCAA national qualifying standard in the long jump in six of eight seasons  -- three times indoors and three times outdoors -- and once also was a "just-miss" after initially qualifying on a provisional basis. 

"Jason  is one of those athletes that I was lucky to have coached and will remember for my entire life," said current head coach Kathy Manizza.  "As an athlete, he had it all:  incredible talent, positive attitude, great work ethic and focus.  He knew how to work hard, but he also knew how to keep it fun and enjoy the sport."

In his freshman season in the long jump, Edwards won the New England Alliance Championship with a then-program record mark of 23-feet-4 inches, then captured the New England Division III title, and followed with a fourth-place finish at the New England Open (as the seventh seed, he finished only behind three Division I competitors). That year, he enjoyed competing at the national championship in New England for the only time in his career, taking ninth place at the Gosman Center on the campus of Brandeis University.

After failing to qualify nationally in the long jump in consecutive seasons (outdoor as a freshman and indoor as a sophomore), Edwards returned with a vengeance, qualifying in each of his last five seasons. As the No. 2 seed outdoor as a sophomore, Edwards  was second only to 1998 national outdoor champion Shawn Watson of Mount Union College in the national meet at Baldwin-Wallace College. His mark of 25-2 ½ in that meet remains the best in Eastern program history. In the long jump, he was third indoors and sixth outdoors as a junior and as a senior was fourth indoors and ninth outdoors.

Edwards becomes only the third individual to gain E-Club Hall of Fame induction based exclusively on track and field merits, following 1977 All-America shot-putter Vin Pillari (1990 induction) and three-time All-America sprinter Judy Pemberton (2006).

 Edwards rounds out the Class of 2013, joining previously-announced selections Victor Pereira of Fall River, MA - a former four-year basketball starter -- two-sport athlete Kris Mach of Southington, four-year basketball All-America Allison Coleman of Jewett City, and four-year lacrosse player John Rubano of Bethpage, NY.

Edwards resides in New London and is in his second year as an assistant track & field coach at Eastern under Manizza. He is employed as an Environmental Service Manager at Essex Meadows Independent Living Community in Essex.


Weight Room Renovation Completed

weight room72_7464.jpg

weight_room72x_7440.jpgThe Eastern Connecticut State University Sports Center weight room underwent a facelift this past summer. The room, which is located on the bottom floor of the building and services the entire Eastern community, includes new rubberized flooring, new stereo system, signage, expanded mirror coverage, "Eastern Warrior" platform/power racks, new polyurethane dumbells, kettle bells, barbells, bands, free weights, assisted dip and pull-up machine, two fixed glute/hamstring machines, TRX suspension training packs, medicine balls, leather jump ropes, plyo boxes, bosu balls and jammer machines. Weight room hours are Monday-Thursday 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Eastern Announces Pet Policy


LEC: 25 from Eastern are All-Academic

Seven earn the honor for the maximum third time in their spring sport


All-Time Listing.doc.

In the spring, France (far left) and Labanara earned LEC All-Academic honors for the third time this year.

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  A total of 25 Eastern Connecticut State University student-athletes have been named to the Little East Conference All-Academic Team for the spring season.

Despite sponsoring only six of the LEC's seven championships in the spring, Eastern had the second-high total of All-Academic qualifiers among the eight member institutions. Coupled with 23 fall academic qualifiers  in five sports (sharing second place), and 18 in  five winter sports (placing third), Eastern  amassed 66 All-Academic achievers during the 2012-13 academic. Eastern's season total was the third-highest in the conference.

Seven players from Eastern's 2013 LEC playoff champion women's lacrosse team gained the honor - the most by any Eastern program this season.  The women's track, men's lacrosse and softball programs featured four selections each in the spring, with baseball and men's outdoor track recording three selections each. 

This year's total gives Eastern 441 qualifiers in the six-year history of the All-Academic program, an average of nearly 75 each academic year.

Student-athletes having reached sophomore academic and athletic status and showing a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 are eligible for the award each season.


Franklin (at left) was a seven-time LEC All-Academic selection in his career.

This spring, seven senior Eastern student-athletes attained the maximum third All-Academic honor in their spring sport: Health & Physical Education major Drew Accomando (Monroe) in baseball, Sport & Leisure Management major Christine Charpentier (Monroe) in women's track, SLM major Arielle Cooper (Mystic) and HPE major Katie Sokoloski (Eastford) in softball, HPE major Drew Deane (Vernon) and Psychology major Jordan Munsell (Waterford) in men's lacrosse, and Elementary Education major Daniela Marchitto (Orange) in women's lacrosse.

Last month, six of this spring's LEC All-Academic qualifiers earned an E-Club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award (minimum cumulative 3.50 GPA through last fall) for the maximum second time: Accomando, Charpentier, Deane, Marchitto, Munsell, and Sokoloski.

Junior Elementary Education major Katie France (Portland) and sophomore Accounting major Kelly Labanara (Chaplin) earned a spot on the LEC All-Academic team for the third time this year as cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field participants.

In his career, senior Political Science major Ryan Franklin (Glastonbury) reached LEC All-Academic status seven times in three sports (cross country, indoor and outdoor track), and Charpentier, France, Marchitto and Munsell six times each. Charpentier ran indoor and outdoor track, and Marchitto and Munsell played soccer in addition to lacrosse.marchitto_sru_72_5082.jpg

Marchitto (at right) was one of seven players from the 2013 LEC playoff championship women's lacrosse team to qualify for the LEC All-Academic team.

This past spring, Cooper was named first-team All-America at third base and LEC Player-of-the-Year, and Marchitto was selected first-team All-LEC in both sports and additionally honored as LEC Midfielder-of-the-Year in lacrosse.

Additional individuals gaining spots on the academic squad were women's lacrosse players Rachel Meotti (Glastonbury), a senior, Kelsea Burkhardt (Old Saybrook), a junior, and sister Amy Burkhardt (Old Saybrook), a sophomore, juniors Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) and Christine Lillis (Waterford), and sophomore Lauren Wells (Stratford); senior men's lacrosse players Merrick Smith (Stonington) and Nick Stoop (Crofton, MD), track and field athletes Alex Verrill (Hiram, ME), a senior, junior Lauren Hultzman (Putnam) and sophomore Dylan Kruppa (Torrington), junior baseball players Michael Pendergast (Farmington) and Greg Porter (Mystic); and junior softball players Mattie Brett (Waterford) and Stephanie Johnson (Southington).               

ECAC Track: Reynolds Recordbreaker


Complete Results

Andre Reynolds (above) broke the Eastern Connecticut State University men's outdoor track and field record in the qualifying round of the 110 meter hurdles on the first day of the 2013 ECAC Championships Thursday at Blake Track on the campus of Springfield College. Reynolds was timed in 15.00, breaking by .11 the three-year-old record set by Tyler Edwardsen at the New England Open. Others competing for Eastern Friday at the ECAC Championships were Lauren Hultzman (5-2 1/2), who missed All-ECAC honors by one place in a ninth-place finish in the long jump; Cora Gingras (5-0 1/2), who was 20th in the high jump; Luisantonio Rosado (56.48), who was 19th in the 400 hurdles; Fredrick Hewett (49.88), 20th in the 400, Akaya McElveen (1:00.36), 31st in the 400, and Nikki Chambers (2:26.58), 37th in the 800.


Track: Hultzman All-NE in High Jump



Above: Lauren Hultzman clears an opening height at Saturday's New England Open en route to All-New England honors for the fourth time in the event in her career.

On final day of NE Open, women's 4x400 smashes program record

EASTON, Mass. - Eastern Connecticut State University junior Lauren Hultzman (Putnam) earned All-New England honors for the fourth time in her career in the high jump when she finished in a tie for third at the New England Open Championships which concluded Saturday at W.B. Mason Stadium on the campus of Stonehill College.

Hultzman, the program outdoor record-holder in the high jump and pentathlon, posted a mark of 5-5 (3/4 inches off her program record set two weeks ago when winning at the New England Alliance/Little East Conference championships). Laura Pomphrey of WPI (5-7) won the event and Shannon Meehan of  University of Rhode Island (5-5) was second.

The meet features New England teams from all three divisions.

In three outdoor seasons, Hultzman has won two NEA/LEC championships and placed in a tie for third in the Open this year and was sixth in 2012 and has been second twice in the New England Division III Championships.

Additionally on Saturday, the Eastern women's 4x400 relay broke the school record by five seconds with a time of 4:03.71, which placed it 24th overall. Running the relay were  juniors Akaya McElveen (New Haven) and Tacia Bryant (Guilford), senior Christine Charpentier (Monroe) and sophomore Nikki Chambers (East Hampton).

Chambers just missed All-New England recognition when she placed ninth in the 800 in a time of 2:15.66 (.13 off her program record).

Senior Cora Gingras (East Hampton) was tenth in the high jump (5-3) - equaling her personal record - and 18th in the triple jump (33-9 ¼), and the 4x100 relay was 20th in a time of 51.12. Runners were Bryant, freshman Sherry Gilronan (Darien), McElveen, and Charpentier.

For the Eastern men Saturday, the 4x400 relay placed 15th in a time of 3:21.31. Competitors were junior Fredrick Hewett (New London), sophomore D'Vonte Chambers (West Haven), freshman John Boisette (East Hartford), and sophomore Dylan Kruppa (Torrington).

Eastern competes in the two-day ECAC Championships beginning Thursday at 11 a.m.

Track:Rosado Record-Setter at NE Open


rosado72_1707.jpgSophomore Luisantonio Rosado (above) clears the final hurdle on his way to establishing a program record of 56.07 in the trials of the 400 meter hurdles Friday afternoon at the New England Open at W.B. Mason Stadium on the campus of Stonehill College. Rosado broke the ten-year mark of 56.13, set by Peter Kellogg at the ECAC Championships in 2003. Rosado placed fifth in his heat in the meet which included athletes from Division I, II and III. Also competing Friday were junior Frederick Hewett in the 200 and 400 meter trials, and sophomore Andre Reynolds in the 110 high hurdles trials. Reynolds set a personal-best time of 15.39 in taking third place in his heat. Hewett was third in his heat in the 400 in a time of 49.04 and fifth in his heat in the 200 with a time of 22.81. None of the three advanced to Saturday's finals.

Competing from Eastern Saturday on the final day of the Open are senior Cora Gingras in the triple jump and high jump, junior Lauren Hultzman in the high jump, sophomore Nikki Chambers in the 800, the women's 4x100 and 4x400 relays and the men's 4x400 relay.

Track: Four from Eastern are All-NE

Hultzman and Chambers break records; Hewett All-NE in 200 and 400


Hultzman, Hewett (Photo by Frank Poulin)

WATERVILLE, Maine - Two Eastern Connecticut State University men and two women attained All-New England honors and broke records this past weekend at the New England Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by Colby College.

Junior Lauren Hultzman (Putnam) broke the program's heptathlon record with 4028 points en route to a fifth-place finish in a field of 13, and also achieved All-New England recognition in the high jump with a mark of 5-4 ¼ which netted her second place. Sophomore Nikki Chambers (East Hampton), hindered by shin splints this year, clocked a record 2:15.53 in the 800 which gave her fifth place and a program record. The time was more than there seconds that a week ago at the New England Alliance/Little East Conference Championships.

For the men, junior Fredrick Hewett (New London) posted a PR of 48.75 (.54 off the program record) in placing fourth in the 400, and was timed in 22.34 in a seventh-place finish in the 200.Sophomore Andre Reynolds (Hartford) squeezed into eighth place in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.53 in the final.

The top eight individuals and relays are accorded All-New England honors.

The men's 4x100 missed All-New England recognition by .03 in a ninth-place finish of 43.18 (.31 seconds off the program record). Running the relay were Hewett, sophomore D'Vonte Chambers (West Haven), junior Andrew Prince (Orange) and freshman John Boisette (East Hartford).

Eighth a year ago in the heptathlon in this meet with 3639 points, Hultzman won the high jump, was second in the long jump, fourth in the 100 hurdles and javelin, eighth in the shot, ninth in the 200 and 12th in the 800. She stood in second place after the first day of competiton, when four events were completed.

Senior Cora Gingras (East Hampton), who had set the previous program heptathlon record at last year's New England meet with 3859 points, totaled 3741 this year. She was third in the 100 hurdles and high jump, sixth in the 800, eighth in the long jump, 11th in the 200 and javelin, and 13th in the shot.

Gingras was also tied for 15th in the high jump with freshman Erica Andrasi (Trumbull) and 22nd in the triple jump, and junior Akaya McElveen (New Haven) ran to a 19th-place finish in the 400. The 4x400 relay of McElveen, junior Tacia Bryant (Guilford), senior Christine Charpentier (Monroe) and Chambers was 15th, and the 4x100 relay of Bryant, Charpentier, McElveen and Chambers placed 16th.

For the men, sophomore Dylan Kruppa (Torrington) placed 23rd in the 400, as did sophomore Luisantonio Rosado (Ponce, PR) in the 400 hurdles, and Boisette and Prince both competed in the preliminaries of the 100. The 4x400 relay of Hewett, Kruppa, senior Ryan Franklin (Glastonbury) and Boisette registered a 14th-place finish.

In 2012, Hultzman also gained All-New England honors in the high jump by taking second in the Division III Championships and sixth in the New England Open. Last year, Hewett was sixth in the 400 in the Open and fourth in the 200 at the Division III meet.

Eastern competes in the New England Open  this weekend at Stonehill College.


Track: Hultzman Wears HJ Crown Again

Amy Huhn in the pole vault and the men's 4x100 relay also win titles


Eastern men's results.pdf

Eastern women's results.pdf

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. --  Junior Lauren Hultzman (Putnam) won her second consecutive high jump title - breaking her own program record in the process --  at the 2013 New England Alliance/Little East Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday at the Edward C. Swenson Complex on the Bridgewater State University campus.

At right: Lauren Hultzman

Hultzman, who captured last year's outdoor alliance and conferences titles and the 2012 alliance and conference indoor high jump championships, broke her own program record by ¾ of an inch with a winning jump of 5-5 ¾. Hultzman qualified for the New England Open Championships with that height and also placed her among the national leaders for a spot in next month's NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships at the University of Wisconson-La Crosse.

After placing second in the conference and third in the alliance with a ten-foot jump last year, junior Amy Huhn (Hebron) won the conference pole vault championship Saturday with a mark of 9-6 ¼. She was third in the alliance scoring.


At left: Fredrick Hewett

The fourth title of the day was turned in by the men's 4x100 relay, which won the Little East championship with a time of 43.02. The relay, which was .15 off the program record, was made up of  freshman John Boisette (East Hartford), sophomore D'Vonte Chambers (West Haven), junior Andrew Prince (Orange) and junior Fredrick Hewett (New London).

The top eight individuals and top three relays are accorded All-New England Alliance honors, while the first three individuals and first two relays are awarded All-Little East Conference honors.

Additional honorees among the women included senior Cora Gingras (East Hampton), sophomore Nikki Chambers (East Hampton) and freshman Erica Andrasi (Trumbull). Gingras competed in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. In the triple jump, she was second  in the LEC and fourth in the alliance and was seventh in the high jump in the alliance. Chambers was second in the LEC and third in the alliance in the 800, where her time of 2:19.16 was .33 seconds off the program's outdoor record. Andrasi placed sixth in the high jump.

For the men, Hewett was second in the conference and third in the alliance in the 200 and placed third in the conference and alliance in the 400. He time in the latter event was .33  shy of the meet record, which was set in 2006 by Eastern's David Nicholson.

Sophomore Andre Reynolds (Hartford) also earned individual honors by taking second in the conference and sixth in the alliance in the 110 hurdles. Senior Alex Verrill (Hiram, ME) was third in the conference and sixth in the alliance in the long jump, and sophomore Luisantonio Rosado (Ponce, PR) was seventh in the 400 hurdles in alliance scoring.

In addition to conference honors, Hultzman qualified for the New England Open in the high jump, Chambers for the ECAC Championships in the 800, and Andrasi met  the qualifying standard in the high jump for the New England Division III meet. The 4x100 relay of  juniors Akaya McElveen (New Haven) and Tacia Bryant (Guilford), freshman Sherry Gilronan (Darien) and senior Christine Charpentier (Monroe) also qualified for the ECAC meet.

For the men, Hewett met the New England Open and ECAC standards in the 400. Sophomore Dylan Kruppa (Torrington) in the 400 and Rosado in the 400 hurdles also qualified for the New England Division III meet.

The New England Alliance is comprised of institutions from the Little East Conference and Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference (MASCAC).


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