The UConn track and field team is headed back down to warm weather to compete in North Carolina’s Raleigh Relays from March 23-25. After successfully kicking off the spring season this past weekend at the Florida UCF Black and Gold meet, things are just heating up.
This past weekend, the Huskies stormed the sunshine state to put five UConn athletes in the outdoor record books. Among the athletes were A’Liyah Thomas, Jasmine Barrow, Sofia Wittmann, Marc Morrison and Chloe Thomas. The favorable results in Florida have already put UConn on the map and point toward a triumphant season.
Introducing new events in the spring season such as the 100m dash, 400m hurdles, javelin and many others have presented new layouts and strategies to the matchups. However, this change in seasons is an authentic indication of the team’s adaptability as records are already pouring in.
Interestingly enough, Connecticut is headed down to the Raleigh Relays with the distance crew. UConn is bringing a select and smaller team of five men and four women to compete in the distance events such as the 1000m, the 1500m and the 3000m.
The matchup will produce some of the toughest competition yet from esteemed powerhouses Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Duke. While the seeded times are unavailable to the public, the listed entries provide insight into the competition. Christopher Lepore and James Maniscalco will be taking their first go at the 5000m of the season against competition from over 200 athletes. Similarly, senior Randi Burr will be kicking off her outdoor season with the 5000m following a sixth-place finish in the event at the Big East Championships.
One of the unique events that the track seasons provide is steeplechase, a 3000m race that includes obstacles such as water divots, ditches and fences. Kevin Cawley and Rachael Woodruff will be the sole UConn athletes to represent the Huskies in this distinctive race. This will be the first time the pair is running this anticipated event since the 2021-2022 season.
The other loaded event is the 1500m, accompanied by five UConn runners. At the UCF meet, Thomas and Jenna Zydanowicz earned second and fifth-place results, both highly impressive finishes for a race that held competition from 63 athletes across the country. For the men’s UCF results, Cawley earned a fourth-place finish. Alongside the aforementioned athletes, Samuel Geisler and James Maniscalco will be competing in the event.
Across the board, the distance squad will be taking on tough competitors from some of the most dynamic universities across the country. Time and time again, the Huskies have proven themselves to be an electric force on the track and will be looking to maintain their prestige and endurance for the weekend in Raleigh.