Among a plethora of schools at the 48th annual Paul Short Invitational, the University of Connecticut women’s cross country team was able to flourish, finishing 13th out of 46 squads this past Friday.
“Great experience today at the Paul Short Run,” said Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Beth Alford-Sullivan. “This was a great meet and with a very competitive field. We came in hoping for a top-10 team finish but came close. I thought we made a few strategic mistakes early on, but we were moving up the whole race. I’m really proud of our finishing efforts, especially from our top five. I thought we showed some great times on this course, but we just need to execute better to get the results we hope for.”
Leading the way for the Huskies was Chloe Thomas, who placed 49th overall in her first run of the season. The sophomore finished the 6K course in 20:24.1, a new personal record. Not far behind was junior Jenna Zydanowicz, clocking in a new PR time of her own with 20:30.2, good for 59th. Rounding out the Connecticut podium was senior Randi Burr, also hitting a PR of 20:39.3 to land in 74th place.
Runners Sophie Coughlin and Caroline Webb were among the top five Husky finishers as well, placing 128th and 138th, respectively. Coughlin ran the course in 21:03.7 in her first event of the year, while Webb set a new PR of 21:10.1.
In the open race, the Huskies shined as well, with Caroline Towle taking home fifth place overall out of 307 finishers thanks to a 21:43.3 finish. Not far behind her was fellow teammate Calista Mayer. The freshman finished the course in 21:54.2.
There was also a sneak peek at some conference competition for UConn, as Big East schools Georgetown, Providence, and Villanova also participated in the meet, finishing second, third and sixth, respectively. The Hoyas particularly impressed, as the trio of Maggie Donahue, Chloe Scrimgeour, and Sami Corman placed third, fourth and fifth overall, respectively.
The Huskies get a little bit of a break, taking a week off before competing in the Virginia Invitational on Saturday, October 15th.
“We are excited that today we showed some great overall fitness,” said Alford-Sullivan. “As we move into this next part of the season, we need to fine tune the strategic part of it in order to get where we want to be and see the results that we expect. Virginia will be a great racing opportunity for us and we are looking forward to it.”