Cross Country: Two top-10 finishes land Huskies in fourth at Iona Meet of Champions

9/12/2017 Cross Country by Charlotte Lao Part of the girls cross country team practices on the track to improve their speed. Many of the athletes in cross country continue their season into track and field. Photo Courtesy Photo courtesy: File Photo. / The Daily Campus

Despite running short-staffed, the UConn women’s cross country team placed fourth out of nine teams in the Iona Meet of Champions on Friday in the Bronx, NY.  

Crossing the line first for the Huskies this weekend was freshman Maddie Sweeney, who placed eighth overall, tying her top placement of the year. She ran the 5K course in 18:55.50, a new personal record for her young career. While she didn’t race in last week’s Providence Friar Invitational, Sweeney’s performance on Friday along with an eighth-place finish at the Marist Invitational to kick off the season is a great sign of things to come. 

Earning her first top 10 finish of the year was graduate student Celia Chacko, who finished the course in a speedy 19:16.40, good for 10th overall. This was Chacko’s first run of the early season, and she looks to continue to make an impact for this Connecticut squad. 

Rounding out the rest of the Huskies are freshman Megan Perrotta, freshman Ally McCarthy, and sophomore Danielle Adams, finishing 27th, 30th and 39th, respectively. All three of the underclassmen completed the course in less than 20:37.00. 

With UConn running only a five-man squad this weekend, every runner’s score counted towards the team score. It was the depth of the Connecticut crew that placed them in fourth with 103 points, falling just shy of host Iona on a tiebreaker. Sweeney finished just 0.3 seconds short of the Gaels’ Madison Kline, making the difference in the group contest. 

Winning the tournament outright was Binghamton, sweeping the top three spots on the podium and having all of their top-five runners place within the top 18. Not far behind them was Army West Point, showcasing incredible depth with seven of their runners finishing in the top 21 of the 67 finishers. Besides the incredible efforts shown by these two schools, UConn ran fairly well, finishing above teams like Big East rival St. John’s, Buffalo, Fairfield and Concordia-St. Paul. 

Besides the outcome of the race, the Huskies got a great opportunity to check out Van Cortlandt Park, the site of this year’s NCAA Northeast Regional Championship. Friday marked the first time that UConn made the trek out to Van Cortlandt Park since 2016. 

UConn gets a bit of a break before their next big meet, taking the next week off before heading down to the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, PA, hosted by Lehigh University. With a No. 4 placement in the Northeast Region by the USTFCCCA Regional Coaches’ Rankings, the Huskies have room to grow within the Northeast with another big showing in a few weeks. 

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