Following a highly anticipated return to the Big East Conference, the University of Connecticut’s track and field and cross country program is boasting its best recruiting class in the history of the program. Despite the setbacks from the men’s cross country program being cut last year, a confident coach Lindsay Crevoiserat maintains high hopes for the teams this year. “I think we just have numbers this year, and everyone that is coming in is important,” she said. In her third year with the program as head XC coach, Crevoiserat’s vision for the women’s team is to match the past performances of their male counterparts. “The goal is to get the women right up there with the men,” she told The Daily Campus.
The women’s track and field team finished second at last year’s Big East Championships, while the men went back to winning ways, taking their maiden (and last) title upon returning to the conference, their first since 2012.
“The Big East is one of the more competitive conferences for the distance so [the women] finishing second is a pretty big deal, especially our first year back,” said Crevoiserat.
With the new XC season well underway, UConn sits among the top rankings nationally, a first since 2012 after a few seasons unranked.
“We are a team that’s ranked high in the country, so that’s a big step considering where we’re coming from, and to finish second in the conference last year behind a team that’s ranked inside the top 20 nationally is a major step in the right direction,” said Crevoiserat.
UConn’s Cross Country team is ranked just outside the national Top 20, at No. 22.
As the 2021 regional championship nears, this year’s recruiting class has already demonstrated intent to peak. “The cross country team has maybe three-to-four recruits among the program’s top five,” Crevoiserat said. Placing No. 4 out of 22 teams at the Coast to Coast Battle of Beantown, freshman Chloe Thomas was the top finisher for UConn, finishing 10th overall in the women’s 5K. “This year my goal is to contribute to the team as much as I can, I’d love to score at the Big East Championship and also qualify for nationals,” said Thomas.
On the flip side, UConn track and field is also in pole position to back up last year’s performance at the Big East Championships. Under the supervision of assistant coach Patrick Peterson, this year’s incoming recruits are poised to give the women’s team a boost to take the top spot at the Big East Championships in 2022. “I’m really excited to be part of the program here, and I’ve already identified the [goals] and the ways to get there to push my team to the top”, said Emily Lavarnway, a multi-event grad transfer.
After undergoing a coaching transition two years ago, the new goal in the eyes of Peterson is to be in the top two regionally. “We have a long way to go before our season kicks off, but for now we’re getting background work done and hoping to remain fit and healthy around the time the season begins,” he said. This year’s recruiting class is looking to help improve upon a record breaking showing by the women’s team and eventual runner up finish at the Big East Championships this past season.