After a successful regular season, the UConn women’s cross country team earned a podium finish in their first postseason meet, taking home third place at the Big East Championships on Saturday. The event was held at the Highland Park Course in Attleboro, Mass.
The Huskies handled themselves well, placing above squads like Villanova, Butler and DePaul, who finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Powerhouse program Georgetown took home first thanks to three top-five and five top-10 finishes, while Providence’s Jane Buckley led all runners and the hosting Friars to a second-place placement.
“A big shout out to Providence and head coach Ray Treacy,” said UConn Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Elizabeth Alford-Sullivan. In his 38 years at the helm, this was their first time hosting the conference championship and they put together a great event. Just an awesome day for Providence and the Big East.”
Finishing first for Connecticut on the six-kilometer course was graduate student Randi Burr, hitting a new personal record with a time of 20:30.8, good for seventh overall. The Westerly, R.I. veteran came up big when her pack needed her the most.
“Randi is a tremendous leader in the program and has really stepped up into that role and is the gel of the team,” said Alford-Sullivan. “Give her the credit. She has had a successful career and with a big coaching change this year, she has bought right in. She is so coachable, and a total class act and has so much pride in herself, her team and the program.”
Also with a solid performance was sophomore Chloe Thomas, highlighting the future of this program for years to come. The Ontario native finished 15th overall, clocking in at 20:58.0.
Placing third in the pack was junior Jenna Zydanowicz, placing 22nd overall with a time of 21:21.0. Rounding out the top-five for the Huskies was junior Sophie Coughlin and senior Caroline Webb, who finished 25th and 28th, respectively. Coughlin clocked in at 21:29.0, while Webb ended her race at 21:32.0.
While not contributing to UConn’s team score, freshman Maddie Reylea and sophomore Caroline Towle shined bright on the conference stage, finishing 26th and 30th, respectively. With even the younger runners placing in the top-30 of a 96-competitor field, this year’s squad has a bright future ahead of them.
“We were thrilled with today’s result,” said Alford-Sullivan. “We went in with the goal to battle for third overall and hold off Villanova and we pulled together really well. Randi Burr ran a great race — a championship performance all the way through. She really ran brilliantly. And Chloe Thomas came through with a great all-conference race.”
The Huskies will get a chance to rest their legs after their hard-earned performance. Up next for Connecticut is the upcoming NCAA Northeast Regional Championship, taking place at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, N.Y. on Nov. 11.