UConn men’s and women’s cross country teams are getting set to compete in the Dr. Sander Columbia Challenge this Friday at the New Balance Track and Field Center at The Armory.
On the men’s side, freshmen Marzio Matroianni, Stephen Sutton and junior Omar Gebril go into the competition holding the top-three spots in the 400-meter AAC rankings. Sophomore Myles Calhoun will look to build on his first collegiate win as he once again looks to come up big for the Huskies in the 60-meter dash, while junior Benjamin Grosse will look towards setting new records after posting a season-best time in the 60-meter hurdles at the Sorlien Invite, clocking in at 8.85 seconds. Finally, the 4×400 relay consisting of Colt Nichols, Gregory Clark, Sutton and Gebril will look to once again triumph after their first-place finish last week, with a time of 3:23.91.
In the field, sophomore Chris Keegan will look to build on his current form after setting a new personal best in the shot put, registering a throw of 17.52 meters to come in second and leading the three Huskies who finished in the top five, alongside junior Matthew Brady and Todd Stueber.
The women look to assert themselves this Friday, with coach Lindsey Crevoiserat confident that the squad is ready to perform at the high level that is expected of them.
“We’ve got some rust busters out of the way and we are ready to see some fast times with both the men and the women,” Crevoiserat said.
This rust has had a very minimal effect, however on the squad’s performance. sophomore Emma Chee was able to set a new UConn school record in the pole vault at the Sorlien invite, clearing a height of 3.95 meters, taking first in the event as she looks to ride that momentum going into Friday’s competition.
Senior Ericka Randazzo will look to once again assert her dominance after taking first in the 5000m with a time of 17:43, while sophomore Shanelle Colmon and freshman Elise O’Leary will look to improve and gain as much experience as they can after stellar performances in the 400m and 800m, respectively.
“We’re excited to put them in a scenario that if they just compete, it will come along with some fast times,” Crevoiserat said.
Both squads will look to build off last year’s finish, with the men finishing 9th and the women finishing thirteenth, respectively. They will face off against teams from across the country, such as Harvard, Temple, Villanova and UCLA.