Track and Field: Huskies set to face tough competition at Penn Relays 

The UConn men’s and women’s track and field teams had a successful showing at the Northeast Challenge meet at home on April 15, 2023. Both teams finished first overall, with 19 personal records set throughout the weekend. Photo by Skyler Kim/The Daily Campus

The UConn track and field team is set to make the trip to Philadelphia, Pennyslvania to compete in the Penn Relays this weekend. The event is always a huge highlight in the calendar, with numerous historic performances coming from previous years. A recent example was Devon Allen’s meeting record of 13.11 seconds in the 110 meter hurdles last year. The Jamaican quartet of Mario Forsythe, Marvin Anderson, Yohan Blake and Usain Bolt are also on the meet record list in the 4×100 meter relay, further highlighting the quality of the meet. 

The Huskies are coming off of a solid weekend that saw athletes compete at the Virginia Challenge and Navy Spring Invitational.  

Marc Morrison’s 7.64 meter long jump was enough to secure second place in Charlottesville, Virginia, and also tied his previous best. Mekhi Stone was also able to break into the top 10 all time performances in the 400 meter with a clockin of 47.42 second. 

Chloe Thomas, Natalia Surdej and Rachel Mason also broke into the top 10 performances of all time in their respective events. Jasmine Barrow would have also joined her teammates in achieving a top 10 performance; however, she was aided by an illegal tailwind in Virginia. Nonetheless, Barrow will look to match this performance this weekend. 

UConn distance fans will be excited to see James Maniscalco return in the 5,000 meter for the second week in a row after he tried his hand at the 1500 meter at the Raleigh Relays.  

The quartet of Stone, Joseph O’Brien, Wellington Ventura and Mahamed Sharif are also set to compete in the sprint medley relay, a reasonably uncommon event. Nonetheless, this seems to be one of the strongest squads fielded by the Huskies in recent years.  

Sharif and Maniscalco will be joined by Samuel Geisler and Kevin Cawley in the 4xMile relay. The strength of the UConn relay teams is a testament to the growing strength of the program as a whole. 

Ventura will also have another shot of breaking the 50-second barrier in the 400 meter hurdles, which has been his goal since the beginning of the year.  

In the shorter sprints, Terrel Williams will return to the 110 meter hurdles, looking to compete well against some tough opposition. He currently sits at No. 22 in the country in this event with a time of 13.63 seconds. He ran this at the UConn Northeast Challenge, suggesting that he took last week off in order to steady his focus on the Penn Relays this weekend.  

The importance of the Penn Relays cannot be overstated in the context that it will be the last opportunity for these athletes to compete before the Big East Championships in two weeks’ time. Looking to emulate their stellar indoor performances, the squad will have their sights set on another conference championship for both genders.  

The Penn Relays kicked off Thursday, and UConn athletes will be competing through Saturday. They will be streamed live on FloTrack. 

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