If there is one theme that seems to follow the UConn men’s track and field team, it is one of consistency.
Coach Greg Roy is going into what will be his 32nd straight year coaching athletics at UConn, 28 years with the track team and 32 with the cross-country team. With a decorated career that has so far provided 13 conference championships in both indoor and outdoor track in the Big East & American Athletic Conference, Roy has also produced All-American athletes with consistency, with a total of 34 student athletes getting the honor under his tutelage.
This goal remains true in what some would look at as a transition year.
“Each year we come out here with the goal of competing for the conference and beyond,” Roy said.
This season is different than most as the team will be going into the season with 22 freshmen. Even so, Roy seemed to have minimal concern.
“This year we have a young team, but we have great leaders at the top,” Roy said.
These leaders specifically are five senior captains for the indoor season: Chinedu Amonu, Demario Gray, Craig Hunter, John Landis and Michael O'Donnell. These seniors have led the team to a great start to the season right off the bat.
The team took care of business to start the season in the Great Dane Classic with a first-place finish, winning it for the second consecutive season. This meet was then followed by the URI Heptathlon where UConn’s own Jordan Torney earned a second place in the event. Looking ahead, UConn will face many different schools but their largest competition might come from within their conference.
Since the American Athletic Conference’s founding, the Houston Cougars have been a humongous thorn in UConn’s side, and vice versa for Houston. The Cougars are currently ranked No. 9 in the country in men’s track and field, and are coming off a conference championship. But this did not seem to bother Roy.
“Our biggest competition used to be Georgetown back in the Big East, Houston has since taken over that spot,” Roy said. “We’ve had some great events with Houston almost always coming down to the wire with them.”
He is seemingly unafraid of the number next to Houston’s name and ready to lead his team out for yet another conference championship. UConn will continue their season with their next challenge coming in the Sorlien Invitational at URI on Saturday, Jan. 21.
Kenny Beardsly is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org