This weekend, the UConn cross country team will travel to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. for the 45th annual Paul Short Invitational run on Saturday.
The Huskies are coming off a strong showing at the Minuteman Invitational at UMass Amherst, where they finished second. Redshirt sophomore Eric van der Els won the race in a field of 34 runners. Other strong performances in that 6k race came from sophomore Sean Parker (fourth), sophomore Will Brisman (sixth) and freshman James Maniscalco (ninth).
UConn will race in the Men’s College Gold 8k race on Saturday at 11 a.m. However, the Huskies will be without two of their most notable runners, seniors Patrick Begley and Michael McGonnigle, who aren’t expected to debut until the next race at Princeton. Begley and McGonnigle placed 20th and 52nd, respectively, out of 359 in last year’s Paul Short run.
UConn as a team finished eighth out of 40 in the College Gold 8k last year. They will be looking to best that this Saturday with a deep roster of younger runners.
The Paul Short Invitational run was started back in 1969 by Coach John Covert to honor the former Lehigh Hall of Fame student-athlete and later administrator, Paul Short. It is the largest intercollegiate cross country meet in the country. This year, there will be over 6,000 athletes competing from almost 450 different colleges and high schools. The Paul Short run is truly an all-day event with six college races, six high school races and two open races counting for 14 races in all.
The UConn runners will look to make their mark this year in this historical event, full of talented runners of all levels from across the nation.
Danny Barletta is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.