Track and Field: Huskies poised to maintain top spots in Big East rankings ahead of two-meet weekend 

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The UConn mean’s and women’s track and field teams host the Northeast Challenge meet at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex on April 13, 2019. The women’s team won the title with a score of 198.33 points and the men’s team won 164 points. Photo by Judah Shingleton / The Daily Campus.

Following an impressive showcase at last weekend’s Columbia Challenge, the UConn men’s and women’s track and field teams have sights set on mirroring their performance when they return to The Armory for the Rutgers Open, as well as the David Hemery Valentine Invitational at Boston University this weekend. The teams will split as they did for the Great Dane and John Thomas Terrier Classics two weeks ago. With the Big East regional indoor championships in two weeks, the Huskies will have another shot at gearing up for the championships, which are being hosted in Chicago this year. 

With three wins in four competitions this season, junior Patricia Mroczkowski returns this weekend to build on her promising season thus far. Ranked no. 20 nationally, the Berlin, Conn. native was named Big East Field Athlete of the Week and is currently ranked first in the conference following her 1.80 meter personal record performance last weekend. This weekend’s meets will also feature men’s team captain Eric Van Der Els, who returns following a big PR clocking last weekend. Van Der Els goes into the weekend ranked third in the Big East in the men’s mile behind Georgetown rivals Matthew Payamps and Camden Gilmore, who hold the first and third spots in the national rankings. 

Women’s captain Taylor Woods looks to improve on her technical mishaps at last weekend’s Columbia Challenge. Leading the Big East in the long jump, Woods is ranked no. 16 nationally, and trails Cornell’s Leone Farquharson in the regional rankings. 

Ahead of this weekend’s competition, UConn currently ranks first nationally in the men’s event squad standings for the heptathlon, with a combined 21,170 points. The men’s team also leads the rankings in the Big East conference, followed by Butler and Marquette. Their female counterparts in the women’s team join them at the top of the Big East rankings, ahead of St. John’s  and Villanova. The Huskies men also head the Northeast regional rankings, with Harvard and Army West Point trailing, while the women’s team is ranked third in the region, behind Harvard and Cornell. 

The David Hemery Valentine Invitational will hold the women’s meet on Friday with the men’s following on Saturday. The women’s competition gets underway on Friday at 10 a.m. with the 5000 meters. Competition gets underway on Saturday at 9 a.m. for the men at the Boston University Track and Tennis center. The Huskies will face competition this weekend from Cornell, Yale, Princeton, University of Texas, University of West Virginia and the University of Maryland. 

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