Men’s track team split between Penn Relays, Yale Invite

A hurdler from the UConn men's track team prepares at the starting line during a meet earlier this season. The Huskies will be looking for a solid showing at the prestigious Penn Relays this weekend. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

The UConn men’s track and field team will split their team again this weekend, traveling to the Yale Invitational in New Haven, Connecticut, and the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

The Penn Relays are the largest, oldest and arguably most well-known track and field competition in the United States, and each year attract the best high school, college and international competition from around the world. It has even hosted many notable Olympians, including multiple world-record holder Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Allyson Felix.

Thousands of spectators attend the four-day meet, with attendance numbers regularly topping 100,000 for the whole event. Attendance has hit that number 11 years straight, and will likely stretch that mark to 12 when the 2015 meet wraps up Sunday.

Though competition at the 121st Penn Relays started Thursday, the Huskies take to the track at 9 a.m. on Friday in the long jump. UConn has participated in the Penn Relays before, and have been fairly successful. Just last year, the team recorded 19 top-10 finishes, and will look to compete just as aggressively this year.

UConn has entrants in a wide array of events spread out across Friday and Saturday. In the Friday field events, senior James Lowe will compete in the 400-meter hurdles and sophomore Matt Graziano will participate in the discus throw. Demario Gray, Tobey Belton and Justin Sicari will look to make their mark in the high jump. Freshman Chandler Ives and junior Tim Murphy will jump in Friday’s edition of the pole vault, while juniors John Landis and Harley Lacroix kick off Friday’s action in the long jump.

Meanwhile, UConn has four relay teams entered on the track on Friday. The 4×200 meter relay team of freshman Trenten Beram , senior Darnell Cummings, sophomore Chinedu Amonu and junior Robert Hovanec will be UConn’s first team underway. Sophomores Mike O’Donnell, Aaeron Sykes, A.J. Chavez, and junior Nick Bertoline run next in the Distance Medley Relay, followed by Beram, Amonu, Lowe and Hovanec in the 4×400 meter relay. The 4×800 meter team of O’Donnell, senior Dave Cotton, Chavez and Bertoline will conclude Friday’s events.

On Saturday, freshman Seth Zuidema is entered in the javelin throw, and senior Amanze Williams competes in the triple jump. Sophomore Craig Hunter and senior Cory Duggan will jump in Saturday’s pole vault competition against some of the best vaulters in the nation. Juniors Chris Ackell and Tosin Edwards conclude the meet for the Huskies in the hammer throw.

Another contingent of athletes will make the short journey down to New Haven on Sunday for a smaller, but no less important meet to the team. These are UConn’s last two meets before the New England Championships from May 7-9.