The UConn track and field team didn’t have to travel far as they took to the track at a place they know all too well: the Sherman Field Complex. This past weekend, the Huskies hosted the UConn Dog Fight and welcomed competitors from up and down the East Coast. Familiar competitors such as Northeastern, Cornell and Boston College arrived at the Huskies’ home turf for a jam-packed weekend.
The Huskies’ spring season, now in full swing, has already taken off. Coming off an exceptional weekend in North Carolina and a spring training camp in Florida, UConn was able to put five athletes in the record books. James Maniscalco, Kabir Chavan, Chloe Thomas, Sam Geisler and Rachael Woodruff all made their mark down in Raleigh to put their names on the map. Paving the way for the distance squad, Maniscalco dominated a second-place finish in the 5000m and an overall No. 2 spot in UConn’s records.
As for the Dog Fight results, the team fought their way to the finish. Among the athletes was distance duo Chloe Thomas and Jenna Zydanowicz. The pair went 1-2 in the 800m to claim the top spots. Following closely behind were Madison Relyea and Celia Chacko.
As for the 400m hurdles and 400m, the results demonstrated promising results for the future of the men’s and women’s teams. Freshman duo Jessica Starr and Mekhi Stone both claimed top spots in their respective races. In the open 400m, Stone ran the event for the first time this season and demonstrated remarkable freshman power. As for the 400m hurdles, Starr knocked roughly four seconds off her time in her second attempt at this event this season. Both results point to promising leaders for their next three years on the team.
Following a distance-dominated crew at the Raleigh Relays, the sprinters came roaring down the track. Sophomore A’Liyah Thomas hit a personal record of 13.59 and a first-place finish in the 100m hurdles. Thomas has dominated since the beginning of the indoor season and took home a second gold medal in the long jump this past weekend. Junior duo Emily Lavarnway and Felicia Quainoo followed closely behind Thomas in the hurdles.
Terrell Williams, one of the leading sprinters during the indoor season, ran the 110 hurdles for the first time this spring to not only claim a No. 1 finish but a personal record as well. Adding to the accolades was Kasey Savage in the high jump, Travis Snyder in the pole vault and Joron Harrell in the triple jump.
The women’s team additionally debuted two of the most anticipated events of the season, the 4×100 and 4×400 relays.
The 4×100 staged a stacked lineup of Mia Dansby, Brianna Davis, Jaia James and Danielle Phillip. After claiming a third-place finish at the Dog Fight, it will be interesting to see how the relay evolves throughout the season.
As for the 4×400, A team Raquel Rosa, Jalah Cooper, Starr and Lavarnway claimed the top spot on their home turf, a victory made a little sweeter. The B team, composed of Gabrielle Davis, Elise O’Leary, Megan Perrotta and Carolina Rice, followed closely behind. The eight women and two relay teams will be key to watch as the season progresses.
Not just on the track, but the women on the field dominated the throws. Freshman Sinclaire Fryer (shotput), Natalia Surdej (hammer) and Julia Moraitis (javelin) all claimed top spots to mark their territory. Joining the women on the field were Tanner Jameson, Joseph Venables, Conlin Winkler, Gabriel Fountain and Connor Hayford to sweep the javelin.
In the thick of the season, the Huskies had demonstrated the versatility and composure of their athletes as the weekend at home was well spent and well deserved. The Huskies were even joined by the UConn club track and field team to add to the community feel in Storrs.
Looking ahead, the Huskies will return to Florida, this time at the University of Miami, to partake in the Hurricane Invite. With four meets to go until the Big East Championships, the Huskies are far from finished.