Men’s Track and Field: Huskies head to NYC to compete in Columbia Challenge

UConn Men’s Track and Field. (Photo by Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The UConn men’s track and field team travels down to the Fort Washington Avenue Armory in New York City to compete in the Columbia Challenge this upcoming weekend. The Huskies are hoping to ride the momentum they’ve built up after a pair of strong performances during winter break.

UConn will be competing with several high-profile universities such as Duke, Florida State, Ohio State, Syracuse and Villanova as well as athletes representing other nations from around the globe.

Josiah Thompson (Fr.) will be the Huskies lone representative in the 60-meter dash. The 7.01 second time he recorded at URI currently stands at 13th in the American conference. Classmate Xavier Smith will run the 60-meter hurdles, where he currently holds the ninth best time in the conference at 8.26 seconds.

Seven Huskies will compete in the 400-meter dash, headlined by freshmen Noah Woodman and Wellington Ventura, whose performances at the Beantown Challenge currently rank third and fifth in the conference.

Brian Camillieri and Joseph Pearl will lead the way in the 800-meter dash. Both Camillieri and Pearl recorded their best times of the season at the Sorlien Invitational (1:53.86 and 1:54.55) and are ranked seventh and ninth.

Kyle Barber (Sr.) and Eric Van Der Els (So.) will run the 1 Mile. Van Der Els’ best time of 4:11.58 is the fourth best time in the conference and Barber will run his third different race in three meets, having won the 3,000 meter in the Beantown Challenge and setting a new personal best in the 1,000 meter at URI.

Michael McGonnigle (Sr.) will run the 3,000 meters. His 8:21.33 time from the season opener stands at third in the conference.

For the field events, Daniel Claxton (So.) will be the lone representative in the high jump. His best jump of 2.13 meters (6 ft, 11.75in) is the second-best result in the American. Ben Grosse (So.) and Malik Snead (Sr.) will both compete in the long jump. Juniors Ivan Nyemeck and Nile Uzzell will compete in the triple jump, their best scores rank fifth and 11th in the conference, respectively.

Ian Bergere (Sr.) will compete in the pole vault, his performance at the Beantown Challenge (5.05 meters / 16ft, 6.75in) stands tied for the third best in the conference.

Todd Steuber (So.) will compete in both the shot put and weight throw events. Steuber set a new personal record of 16.85 meters (55ft 3.5in) in the shot put at the Sorlien Invitational last weekend.

The Columbia Challenge will take place on Friday Jan. 25th and Saturday Jan. 26th.


Neil Simmons is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at neil.simmons@uconn.edu .