Huskies miss out on team, individual qualification for Nationals, in season-ending performance

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The curtains have closed on the University of Connecticut women’s cross country team season, as the Huskies settled for fourth at the NCAA Northeast Regionals on Friday.  UConn totaled 143 points to finish behind Harvard, Syracuse and Providence, missing out on both the team and individual qualifications in the 36-team field. 

The Huskies were led by Cornell transfer Melissa Zammitti, who finished 13th in 21:04.9, with freshman Chloe Thomas just behind her at 14th, in 21:05.6, while outgoing senior Mia Nahom trailed closely for 15th, in 21:05.8. Registering the sixth-fastest winning time among the nine regions, Syracuse’s Amanda Vestri won the women’s 6K in 20:04.5. 

“It was a very tough race,” coach Lindsay Crevoiserat said. “We were battling a lot of sickness the last few weeks, so it took a toll, but they really packed up well and ran one of the best races I’ve seen together,” she said.  

Smashing her PB for the second time this season, Thomas is looking to turn disappointment into motivation to fuel the track team as they prepare for their season opener in January. 

“I think everyone is feeling down, but I can already tell that we’re starting to turn that energy into motivation and fire that we need to attack the indoor and outdoor track,” she said. “This season we set our standards high and went for a spot on the national line, and we didn’t meet that goal, but we’ve learned so much from this race and this season, and I’m looking forward to getting in a few months of training before getting back on the line with the team for indoors.” 

Meanwhile, Zammitti, who ran consistently alongside Thomas and Nahom all season, shared a similar mindset: “The goal was to qualify for the National Championship. Having fallen short was disappointing but will fuel our motivation in seasons that follow,” she said. 

UConn’s top five was completed by seniors Randi Burr, who finished 30th, registering 21:28.3, her fastest time this season, and Celia Chacko who crossed the line at 71st in 22:08.5. 

Sophomores Jenna Zydanowicz and Caroline Towle ended at 83rd and 146th in the 250-strong field, registering 22:18.5 and 23:10.9 respectively. 

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