UConn track and field returns to Boston this Saturday, Feb. 10, to compete in the BU Valentine Invitational in the Boston University Track and Field Center.
The Valentine Invitational is a performance meet, which means the Huskies will compete as individuals to improve their qualifying times, instead of focusing on earning points for the team.
This meet is also unique because the Huskies will compete not only against athletes from other colleges, but also a hodgepodge of amateur athletes, international athletes and professional runners.
“It’s a crazy, crazy meet,” head coach Greg Roy said. “I don’t know if there’s anything else in the NCAA like it.”
Among the professional athletes competing is distance runner Edward “King Ches” Cheserek, who will attempt to be just the fourth person in history to break to 3:50 mark in the indoor mile.
Since the Valentine Invitational is a performance meet, the UConn athletes will look to set themselves up with low qualifying times for the American Championships, which take place next week. Senior distance runner Mike O’Donnell will compete in the mile run.
“I think all around it’s different this week. Last weekend I was concerned about place,” O’Donnell said. “Then this weekend I might come in fifth, but if I PR by a whole bunch, I’ll be happy.”
O’Donnell will look to best his qualifying time of 4:07.97, which is already good enough to top the AAC.
Another Husky with his eye on the AAC prize is senior Trenten Beram, whose qualifying time of 21.64 in the 200m is good enough for eighth in the American standings. Beram will take part in the 400m as the No. 15 seed, as well as the 4x400m relay alongside freshman Colt Nichols, junior Kyle Trocki and sophomore Daniel Linehan.
Like last week, UConn will look to stack the box with long distance runners. The Huskies have two runners, Patrick Begley and Kyle Barder, entered into the mile run. This race is especially important for Begley, as he has does not have a mile run qualifying time on the board for this season.
Luke Swanson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.