Track and Field: Women lead Huskies to host of PR performances over dual-meet weekend 

4/2/22 T&F by Julie Spillane The UConn men’s and women’s track and field teams win their first home meet of the season – the men scoring 203 points and the women scoring 223 points – defeating six other schools.

As UConn prepares to return to Storrs this weekend for the second leg of its home meets, the team put on a strong display at the Jon May Invitational at Louisiana State and the Wilton Wright Invitational at Southern Connecticut State over the weekend. Led by the women with 12 personal record performances, the Huskies continued their steady progression as the mid-season of their outdoor campaign approaches. 

Tabbed Big East Field Athlete of the Week for the third straight week, junior Patricia Mroczkowski highlighted the weekend’s performances, recording a new career-best 1.83 meters in the high jump to finish second overall. Teammate Kelly Ward was sixth in the field, clearing 1.70 meters for a season’s best performance. 

For the second consecutive week, freshman Natalia Surdej posted a new PR in the hammer throw, with a 57.77 meters attempt for fifth place. Senior Mikyla Rodgers followed Surdej to finish sixth with 56.41 meters as her best attempt of the day. In the pole vault, senior Emma Chee cleared 4.01 meters and was awarded a joint third place finish. 

Three Huskies were among the field in the long jump, with junior Lavarnway leading the way for UConn with a 5.78 meters attempt for third. Sophomore Jasmine Barrow trailed Lavarnway for sixth place, leaping to 5.62 meters, while classmate Jamie Kobus registered a new PR of 5.52 meters for eighth place. Kobus returned with Barrow for competition in the triple jump, setting another PR with her 11.60 meters attempt for sixth place. Barrow’s 12.17 meters attempt was good enough for third place in the field. 

The discus produced another PR performance for UConn as freshman Emily Alty’s best mark of the day; 46.66 meters landed her a ninth place finish. 

On the track, the Huskies had competition from two athletes in the 400 meters hurdles, with both finishing with new PR’s. Freshman Gabby Davis and classmate Alyssa Elliott were sixth and ninth respectively, clocking 1:02.63 and 1:04.75.  

The 100 hurdles meters field also had a pair of PR performances from the Huskies, led by an 11th place 14.41 seconds finish from junior Lavarnway. Freshman Katelyn Reid finished in 14.92 seconds. In the 200 meters, freshman Davis posted a new 24.38 seconds PR for 13th overall, wrapping up competition for the Huskies at LSU. 

Freshman Ta’Jae Jackson led UConn to a solid day of competition at the Wilton Wright Invitational with a win in the 200 meters, clocking a new PR of 25.05 seconds. Jackson doubled up in the 400 meters, joining teammate Jalah Cooper to finish second and fifth respectively, clocking 58.08 seconds and 59.85 seconds. Freshman Amanda Ruffin crossed the line in the 100 meters at 12.55 seconds for a new PR. The sprint hurdles featured a pair of Huskies, with freshman classmates A’lliyah Thomas and Emma Phelps finishing fourth and fifth, clocking 15.89 and 16.39 seconds respectively. 

Field events competition saw a quadruple of second place finishes in the separate events for the Huskies. In the throws, sophomore classmates Jackie Simington (javelin) and Susie Okoli (shot put) registered 37.21 and 12.64 meters in their respective events. The long jump saw Thomas leaping to 5.44 meters, while sophomore Mallory Malz cleared 3.35 meters in the pole vault. Phelps cleared a new PR height in the high jump, with her 1.60 meters attempt for fourth place. 

The men’s team also put on an impressive display at the Joe May Invitational, highlighted by a 1-2 finish in the 800 meters. Sophomore Mahamed Sharif led the field for UConn in the 800 meters, clocking a 1:50.62 season’s best, while junior Joseph Pearl also recorded a season’s best, trailing Sharif with 1:51.58. Freshman Terrel Williams erased his old PR in the 110 meters hurdles for the second straight week, this time clocking 13.90 seconds for fourth. Junior Joseph O’Brien made his debut outdoors in the 400 meters, with a 49.15 seconds performance. UConn’s 4×400 relay quartet featuring Noah Woodman, Jordan Torney, Markus Bagley and Wellington Ventura finished fourth in a season’s best 3:09.45. 

In the field, junior Travis Snyder equaled his best outdoor performance this season, clearing 5.11 meters for sixth in the pole vault. Classmate Tyler Hrbek put on a 4.96 meters season’s best performance to finish eighth. Senior Daniel Claxton produced a season’s best clearance in the high jump, doing so at 2.06 meters for a fourth place finish. In the triple jump, freshman Kasey Savage set a new PR at 14.33 meters, taking sixth. 

The Huskies are back in action this weekend on home turf when UConn hosts the Northeast Challenge at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex, which will be the second leg of home meets this season. UConn will also be home to this year’s Big East Outdoor Championships in May. 

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