Cross country: Ariel Smith captains ECSU to title

Ariel Smith was a senior tr-captain for the Little East Conference champions — Eastern Connecticut State University photo

Ariel Smith out of Bunnell High capped her cross country career at Eastern Connecticut State University by helping the Warriors to their first Little East Conference championship,

A senior tri-captain, Smith worked all season to recover from an injury that sidelined her for the first portion of the season.

Smith returned for the James Earley Invitational and competed in both the LEC and Division III New England Regionals.

Eastern, led by LEC Coach of the Year Kathy Manizza, placed in the top half of the field at the Regional championship.

The Warriors unseated 17-time defending champion Keene State College for the LEC title. Eastern totaled 50 points in the seven-team field to post an eight-point win over runner-up Plymouth State University.

Smith played four sports at Bunnell, as she competed for four years in cross country and indoor track, two in outdoor track and one in tennis, An All-South-West Conference second-team honoree in cross country, Smith was All-Academic in conference for four years.

A senior captain in cross country and indoor track, Smith earned received Excellence Awards in spanish, biology and english.

At Eastern, Smith was LEC Rookie of the Year, a two-time member of the LEC Academic Honor Roll and the E-club Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award winner.

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