The UConn men’s indoor track and field team pulled ahead of Tulsa in come-from-behind fashion to claim second in the American Athletic Conference Championship over the weekend.
The Huskies were stuck in third behind Tulsa after Friday’s events concluded, but used a big day Saturday to claim second prize. The Huskies ended with a total of 111.5 points to Tulsa’s 109 points, which would earn the Golden Hurricanes third place.
The No.9 in the nation Houston Cougars dominated the field, scoring 174 total points to win the American Conference Championships for their second consecutive season. Houston outmatched the Huskies on the track which helped them dominate the scoreboard.
“We were outscored by Houston 80-7 in the speed events, and that’s the meet right there,” UConn men’s track and field coach Greg Roy said of how Houston won the conference title.
While Houston dominated in the short game, the Huskies provided a glut of performances across the board to showcase their talent. UConn would earn their most point-in the mile run, earning 17 total. Senior Michael O’Donnell and freshman Eric Van Der Els came in second and third respectively to net the team event high. Senior captain Chinedu Amonu ended his career of indoor track by also providing the Huskies with eight points, as he would place second in the 400-meter finals. Similarly, junior Stephon Henry won silver in the 60-meter hurdles, coming a mere one hundredth of a second behind Houston’s runner Amere Lattin who earned first.
UConn was also a part of history at the American championship. In the distance medley, the Huskies, comprised of runners Chris Heydrick, Kyle Barber, Parker Timmerman and Eric Van Der Els broke the American record with a time of 9:53.81. Unfortunately, for the Huskies this time would only earn a third place finish and six points as both Houston and Tulsa also broke the American record time.
In the pole vault, senior captain Craig Hunter was unable to capture another first place finish, as he would come in second place with a top mark of 5.12 meters. Cincinnati jumper Adrian Valles would set an American record with a jump of 5.60 meters to defeat Hunter.
Multiple Huskies earned individual recognition when the All-Conference performers were announced. Amonu, O’Donnell, Van Der Els, Henry, Hunter, Snead and Forde.
Kenny Beardsley is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.