With 31 spots in the national championship up for grabs, the UConn women’s cross country team competed with 36 other schools in the NCAA Northeast Regional at Van Cortlandt Park on Friday.
Three Huskies earned All-Region honors for their performances, while Connecticut finished sixth overall with a score of 179. The Huskies, who entered the meet ranked No. 5 in the Northeast, finished behind Columbia (167), Harvard (140), Providence (137), Boston College (109) and Syracuse (98). The Orange and the Eagles officially punched their tickets to the national championship by securing the top two placements in the regional. The rest of the field will have to sweat out their fate under the eyes of the NCAA selection committee on Saturday.
For Connecticut, junior superstar Chloe Thomas led the Huskies once again, placing seventh overall out of 199 runners on the field. Thomas, of Dundas, Ontario, posted a time of 20:10 in the 6K and was awarded All-Region for the second time in her collegiate career.
Senior Jenna Zydandowicz ran a 20:13 and was the second UConn runner to earn All-Region honors. The senior from West Hartford, Connecticut finished in 14th place, improving on her 60th-place finish from a year ago. Classmate Caroline Towle was the third and final Husky runner to earn such honors, finishing 24th overall at 20:29.
Harvard’s Maia Ramsden, who was an NCAA first-team All-American last year, clocked a 19:24 to take the top spot in the event. Kimberley May of Providence ran within half a second of Ramsden for the first five kilometers of the race but took second place with a time of 19:37. The rest of the top five featured Columbia’s Phoebe Anderson (19:46), Northeastern’s Abigail Hassman (19:57) and Boston University’s Hannah Prosser (19:58).
In the program’s first season under former national champion Beth Alford-Sullivan, the Huskies finished with the No. 5 rank in the northeast region and earned top-five placements in every race in the regular season. In some of their more impressive showings this season, Connecticut took fifth place out of 42 schools in the Arturo Barrios Invitational and fourth place in the Big East Championship.
The program will see if their names are called when the official national championship bracket is revealed on Saturday at 5 p.m. If not, it was still a successful campaign for the Huskies.