The UConn Huskies cross-country team showed no form of rust in the opening weekend of their season. From start to finish, the Huskies displayed their speed and depth as both the men and women came away with first-place team finishes in the Minuteman Invitational in Amherst, Mass.
The cross-country season is notoriously short, such that the men have four races and the women have six before the American Athletic Championships. That means a dominant display this early could be a sign of big things to come in 2017.
"For us to be as good as I think we can be this fall, we are going to need solid efforts like we got from all our scorers today," said head coach Greg Roy said per UConn Athletics.
Last year, the men’s side finished in second in the Minuteman Invitational, behind Maine. This year, the tables were turned as UConn came out on top and Maine finished in fifth. The Huskies came away with a score of 26 points, far away ahead of the second-place Boston University Terriers with a score of 53, while Vermont came in third with a score of 95.
The stand-out performance of the race was unblemished as redshirt junior Patrick Begley won the race with a time of 18:57. His teammates behind him helped provide support to win the meet as redshirt junior Michael McGonnigle came in fourth, with juniors’ P.J. Garmon, Kyle Brackman and Kyle Barber finishing in fifth, seventh and ninth respectively.
Roy was excited by his team’s performance after the race.
“We beat Boston University, which is a good sign for us as they are a very good squad and we had trouble with them last year,” said Roy per UConn Athletics.
The UConn women’s side did not have the best of performances compared to last year’s Minuteman Invitational, finishing in fourth. However, much like the men, the women made large improvements in 2017 and came away with the first-place title with a score of 25. The University of Massachusetts followed in second place with 49 points, while Vermont finished in third with 86 points.
The girls team put together a great performance as six runners finished in the top-ten. The top performer for the Huskies was Brianna O’Brien who came in fourth and was followed by three of her teammates–juniors Kelsey Swanson, Courtney Akerly and Haley Hasty–who placed fifth through seventh, respectively.
The women’s season will continue Friday, Sept. 15 at the UB Stampede Invitational in Amherst NY. The men’s team, on the other hand, will travel to Bethlehem, Penn. to compete in the Paul Short run on Friday, Sept. 29.
Kenny Beardsley is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.