UConn’s track and field team traveled to Athens, Georgia this weekend to compete in the Spec Towns Invitational. The team sent the most athletes of the season to this meet, resulting in a lot of debuts and a lot of personal best times.
The meet started on Friday with both track and field events. In the 1500-meter, redshirt sophomore Eric van der Els made his spring debut and placed first with a time of 3:52.61. Shortly behind van der Els were senior P.J. Garmon (3:54.94) and freshman Joshua Bedard (3:55.81), who finished third and fourth in the event, respectively. Freshman Adam Khriss made his season-debut in the 400-meter and looked strong, finishing in sixth and crossing the line at 53.87.
In the pole vault, senior Ian Bergere posted a new season-best of 4.90 meters, earning a third-place finish. Right behind Bergere were sophomore Devon Shane (4.75m) and freshman Tyler Hrbek (4.75m), who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Malik Snead competed in the long jump and finished seventh with a leap of 7.02 meters, and in the hammer throw, Sebastian Castano made his season debut, coming in fourth with a toss of 53.55 meters.
Two Huskies competed in the meet’s decathlon. In his debut, Jordan Torney finished up a personal best 7,725 points including a second-place finish in the 100-meter and a pair of fourth place finishes in the 400-meter and long jump. Sophomore Ben Grosse also competed in his first ever decathlon and ended up with 6,624 points. Grosse missed the top five in several events but was able to secure a first-place finish in the high jump, leaping 2.00 meters.
The events wrapped up on Saturday. Freshman Konstantin Rust had fourth place finishes in the 110-meter hurdles and the 200-meter with times of 14.35 and 22.33 seconds, both personal bests. Competing with Rust in the 110-meter hurdles were sophomore Oluwatomide Alao (14.55) and freshman Xavier Smith (14.58), who also finished with their own personal best times.
Malik Snead continued to impress in the triple jump. The senior finished in first once again, jumping a distance of 15.26 meters. Junior Nile Uzzell also competed in the event for the first time, finishing sixth with a leap of 14.02 meters.
The Huskies are back in Storrs next weekend to host the Northeast Challenge. The meet will take place on April 13 at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex.
Conner Gilson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.