UConn’s track and field teams were back home this Saturday to host their annual Northeast Challenge. The Huskies took first place in a field of ten other teams, finishing the day with 164 points and winning six individual titles. The closest team to UConn was Southern Connecticut, who finished the meet with 90 points. Head Coach Greg Roy was very happy with the performance.
“The team is really rounding into a full squad,” Roy said. “Pretty much everyone’s been out there now. It was a pretty solid performance for us. What I thought would be a relatively close meet was not.”
The meet started with the field events, where the Huskies finished in the top two in five out of the eight events, including four first-place finishes.
Sophomore Matthew Brady got the scoring started for the Huskies, placing second in the shot put with a toss of 17.51 meters, setting a new personal best in the process. In the discus, it was sophomore Todd Stueber earning his first career win, launching the discus a personal-best 51.74 meters. Senior Malik Snead once again took the title in the long jump, posting a season-best leap of 15.66 meters for his second win of the year.
Roy praised Snead for his continuous success.
“He’s becoming very consistent at a very high level which means when the time comes, I think he’s gonna jump very far,” Roy said. “He’s become so dependable for the team and I think this is the most confidence he’s had in his career.”
In the high jump, sophomore Scott Safir took home the title for the Huskies. He got over the bar at a height of 2.08 meters and currently sits atop the American Athletic Conference in the event. Senior Ian Bergere kept his own success as well as the Huskies’ going in the pole vault, winning for the first time this season by posting a season-best height of 4.92 meters.
The wins kept coming for the Huskies when they hit the track. The first event UConn competed in was the 1500 meters. Junior Kyle Brackman (3:54.78) and seniors Michael McGonnigle (3:55.25) and Kyle Barber (3:58.01) finished the race first, third and fifth, respectively, but it was Brackman who stole the show. He spent most of the race in the back of the pack, only to burst ahead in the last 200 meters to win the title. Roy called him a “live wire” and hopes he continues this success as the season continues.
Freshman Myles Calhoun had a strong day, earning second place finishes in both the 100 meters and 200 meters, setting season-bests in both. Classmate Noah Woodman won his first race of the spring season, winning the 400 meters with a time of 47.34 seconds.
In the 110-meter hurdles, freshman Konstantin Rust took second place, crossing the line at 14:49 seconds while Xavier Smith (14.85) finished fifth. Sophomore Eric van der Els ran the 800 meters for the first time this season and finished in 1:52.38, the second fastest time by a Husky this season and good enough for third place in the meet.
UConn continued their dominance in the 5000-meter run. Freshman James Maniscalco earned his first career win with a time of 15:10.77. Sophomore Ian Mickool (15:14.49) and senior Aidan Fiol (15:20.86) finished second and fourth respectively in the event.
Next up for the Huskies is a trip to Princeton, where they will compete in the Larry Ellis Invitational.
Conner Gilson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.