The UConn men’s and women’s track and field teams are among this year’s front-runners for this weekend’s American Conference Indoor Championships.
Following an impressive indoor season, seeing multiple school and personal records being set, the Huskies travel to Birmingham, Alabama. Head coach Greg Roy tells The Daily Campus the men’s team are top contenders for the conference title.
“[The] men are coming off a heavy redshirt and should show improvement, if not contend for the title,” Roy said.
With three wins this season, the Huskies men’s team is poised to take the title from returning five-time champions the Houston Cougars, boasting five consecutive indoor championships to their name.
Making their last appearance before switching back to the Big East in the upcoming 2020-21 season, the Huskies men remain the only team besides the Cougars to win the conference title in the history of the championships, doing so in 2014.
Among the big names are junior Tyler Gleen, who returns to the championships as defending champion in the 800 meters. Eric Van Der Els also heads into the championships under watchful eyes, bragging the fastest time over the mile in the AAC this season. The two are among the quartet which currently holds the top spot nationally on the leaderboard in the distance medley.
On the women’s side, the Huskies head into the conference championships as underdogs, following their title win at the New England Championships. Despite losing points from last year, coach Roy remains optimistic the team will rise to the occasion.
“It’s hard to say where we stand right now, but it looks like six teams are separated by 30 points or so, and that can change in a hurry,” Roy said.
Junior Mia Nahom leads the charge among the women following a remarkable season indoors, seeing record breaking performances, and also earning the second fastest conference time in the mile. A confident Roy expects Nahom to peak at the right moment this weekend.
“If you saw her at the New England championship, she was there to win. And when she comes out like that, she is tough, tough to beat. Wherever she is this weekend, she will be in the hunt. She is a winner,” Roy said.
This year’s championships returns to the Birmingham Crossplex Facility for a fifth consecutive season.
Nicholas Martin is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.