UConn men's cross country to head to Connecticut College
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 22:10
After the hype and energy that pervaded last week’s New England Championship, the UConn men’s cross country team will compete on Saturday at the lower-pressure Connecticut College Invitational at New London’s Harkness Park.
Though a downsized meet compared to the New Englands, the 2011 Invite fielded 14 squads and over 200 athletes from all athletic divisions. UConn finished eighth while withholding top runners such as Ryan McGuire and Jordan Magath.
When the Huskies toe the line at 11 a.m. for the 8-km race this year, however, they look to do even better. UConn should receive a boost from McGuire, who was recently named Big East Conference Athlete of the Week for his 17th-place finish at the New England Championships and will be in Saturday’s lineup. Jordan Magath, the team’s steady No. 2 runner, will also race, as well as top-seven finishers Stephen Vento and Alex Bennatan and underclassmen Ned Wilson, Zach Patsy, Phil Caldwell and James Agati.
Seniors Joe Clark and Tim Bennatan, two athletes who were key components of the 2011 Conn. College Invite result, will not compete Saturday. The loss of Clark and Bennatan will be significant because the two are consistent members of the Huskies scoring five. AJ Chavez, in the midst of a breakout freshman season and the No. 3 runner for the Huskies, will also rest on Saturday.
A strong showing will be exactly what the Huskies need to contend with meet favorites Southern Connecticut State and Connecticut College, who packed a 1-2 punch at the 2011 Invite. Each of these teams showcases a strong field of individuals, including Southern Connecticut’s Brian Nill, who recorded an 11th-place finish at the New England Championship and Connecticut College’s Mike DeLuc, who recently placed 2nd at the prestigious James Early Invitational for Division III institutions.
Another formidable contender is Tufts, who displayed a fantastic 5th-place performance at the New England Championships. The No. 8 Jumbos are paced by seniors Matt Rand and Kyle Marks, who placed 15th and 20th at the New Englands.