Following their fourth-place finish in the Big East championship, the UConn women’s cross-country team will head to Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, New York to compete in the NCAA Northeast Regional championship on Friday.
UConn, which races in the 6K event, will be joined by 39 other schools to vie for a spot in the national championship. Out of the 40 teams in the Northeast Regional field, only the top two teams are awarded automatic bids to advance and compete for the national title. Teams that finish in third or fourth place must sweat out their fate by the decision of the NCAA selection committee. The Huskies enter this event ranked No. 5 in the Northeast region, trailing Boston College, Syracuse, Providence and Harvard. With top-five finishes in every race they’ve competed in this year, Connecticut will look to steal a bid to the NCAA championship this weekend.
In last season’s regional, UConn took seventh place overall with Providence and Syracuse punching their tickets into the national championship. This year, the team returns five runners who placed in the top 75 individually in last year’s race. Junior superstar Chloe Thomas was the first Husky to cross the finish line in the 2022 regional with a race time of 21:11 (29th overall). Senior Sophie Coughlin ran one of her best races as a Husky with a 39th-place finish and captain Jenna Zydanowicz placed 60th with a time of 21:45.
Nationally ranked Harvard, Syracuse and Providence enter this event as favorites to capture bids to the national championship. The Crimson (No. 26 nationally), ranked No. 1 overall in the Northeast region, took first place in the Ivy League championship in their most recent performance. The Orange (No. 28) finished fourth in the ACC and are currently ranked No. 2 in the Northeast. The Friars (No. 29) took second place behind Georgetown in the Big East championship and round out the Northeast region’s top three.
In UConn’s first season under legendary director Beth Alford-Sullivan, the Huskies finished with a top-five placement in every race they competed in. Connecticut began the season with a first-place finish in the Suffolk Short Classic and followed that up with a second-place effort in the Providence Friar Invitational. The program placed fifth out of 42 schools in the loaded Arturo Barrios Invitational before taking fourth in the Big East Championship. UConn looks to keep its national championship dreams alive with another impressive performance Friday.