OFF AND RUNNING
Rishi Mehta, Associate Commentary Editor
One week after dominating their respective New England Championship meets, both the men's and women's track teams are setting their sights on continuing their streaks in the third round of the track and field championship season.
The UConn men's track and field team is coming off their seventh consecutive NEICAA Indoor Championship after finishing almost 25 points ahead Rhode Island, who received second, and almost 50 points ahead of third place Southern Connecticut.
Now, the team's goal is to capture the IC4A Championship crown in Boston, a meet they have won every year since 2008.
Last year, some of the Huskies' most important point scorers were then sophomore Noel James, who leapt to second place in the high jump, then junior Kyle Duggan,who took second place in the pole vault, and then sophomore Tim Bennatan (who took fifth place in the 800m with a 1:50.32). This year, these athletes have continued to be key pieces in the grand scheme of things for the men's team.
In their last time's competing, Bennatan took third place in the 800m with a 1:49.02 at the New England meet, Duggan took first place in the pole vault at the Rider-Lafayette Invitational and James took second place in the high jump with a leap of 2.14 meters at New England's.
The women's side of the track has enjoyed similar bouts of success at this point in the championship season recently. Last year, the women grabbed their fourth straight ECAC Indoor title after finishing with 96.5 points (almost twice as many as second place Cornell). After coming off of an extremely dominant New England Championship meet, at which they finished almost 50 points ahead of second place Sacred Heart, it is hard to think that the Huskies will not claim their fifth ECAC title this weekend in Boston.
Last indoor season at the ECAC Indoor Championship meet, at which UConn sent six athletes to the national meet the following week, the Huskies relied on the likes of then freshman Tiffany Daley, who helped the 4x400m relay team take second, then sophomore Ana Groff,who won the 500m by a hair over fellow Husky Imani Sudlow, and then sophomore Shauna McNiff,who took fourth place in the mile with a 4:52.04.
Last week at the NEICAAA Championships, these Huskies proved that they are still in position to help the Huskies take another crown at ECAC. McNiff set the school record in the 3,000m with a time of 9.26.96 en route to victory, Daley grabbed second place in the 400m with a 55.23 and Groff took the 500m title with a very fast meet record time of 1:13.37.
The championship season will continue this Friday for both the men and women's team in Boston where both teams are hoping to continue the success they have had at this stage of the championship season. The IC4A Championship meet for the men and the ECAC Championship meet for the women will be the team's final test before the NCAA Championships the following weekend in Idaho.
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