The UConn cross country teams produced stellar performances at the Northeast Regional Championships on the weekend. Seeing one Husky, Mia Noham, punching her ticket to the NCAA national championships, head coach Greg Roy hailed the athletes for a remarkable season.
“This season showed almost straight line improvement and development for the team and individuals.” Roy said.
In what was arguably their best season in 20 years, the men’s team had three finishers within the top 50, ending in 15th, 17th and 18th, securing All-Region honors.
Marginally missing out on the national championship, captain Eric Van Der Els expressed gratitude for a fruitful season.
“I couldn’t have asked for anymore from what we got out of this season. Rather than expecting this season as a rebuilding year, it turned out to be one of the better teams we’ve produced in recent times.” Van Der Els said.
Bettering last year’s performance, the men’s team nabbed eighth place from the 37-team field.
“This is one of the most positive seasons in my 34 years at UConn.” Roy said. “Taken by themselves, each of the top three did amazingly, coming oh so close to qualifying for the last individual spot. The last time we had three guys finish All-Region was in 1999, and before that was 1990.”
The Huskies women also had three finishers inside the top 50, as Nahom’s execution earned her fourth place song a 250-strong field. Citing the course being changed last minute due to safety concerns as a strange twist of things, Nahom remained in perfect position to finish among the top competitors.
“I just tried to get out quick and put myself in the top 20 and keep moving up as the race progressed. Around 1K to go, I was in the top 10 and just started to kick for top four,” Nahom said.
Nahom’s qualification for the national championships comes as the first since Lauren Sara in 2014.
“It feels very surreal to be heading to nationals. This season has been a slow build, with conference and regionals as the main focus. Making nationals was optimistically the goal all season, but really came into view once conference was over.” She said.
Coach Lindsay Crevoiserat, who joined the program at the beginning of the semester, also expressed gratitude for consistency this season.
“I think this is the best day we’ve had thus far as a program, we got after it today and it got the men pumped. Mia had a great run up front, she covered the moves and ended fourth with some of the best runners in the country.” Crevoiserat said.
Nahom’s 19:37.7 clocking also earned her All-Region honors, with the team placing ninth overall out of 37 teams competing.
“I think in the next couple years the men’s and women’s teams will both be fighting for those team qualifying spots and it would be a ton of fun to experience that as a team.” Nahom said.
The NCAA Championships gets underway in Terre Haute, Indiana on Saturday, Nov. 23.
Nicholas Martin is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org