By Aaron Esposito and Peter Harasyko
The UConn men’s track and field team wrapped up their only true home meet of the season on Saturday with a decisive victory over Albany, Southern Connecticut, New Haven and UMass-Boston. The Huskies posted a team score of 284 points, far ahead of second place Albany (190). SCSU (81) finished third, followed by New Haven (13) and UMass-Boston (12).
The Huskies picked up 12 first-place finishes on the day, propelling them to a decisive victory over several regional foes. Several athletes had exceptional performances to go along with the win, and head coach Greg Roy was pleased with the overall result.
“I think we really, really competed well,” Roy said. “I was very excited and happy for the guys.”
The track events got off to a positive start for the Huskies, with the 4×100 meter relay team securing UConn’s first win of the day. The team, composed of freshman Trentan Beram, senior Darnell Cummings, sophomore Chinedu Amonu, and sophomore P.J. Hayes, edged out Albany in a time of 40.84 seconds.
The Huskies dominated the 110-meter hurdles, taking the first four places and 28 points toward the team’s score. Freshman Stephon Henry won the event in 14.45 seconds, followed by sophomore Randall Wall (14.63), sophomore Patrick Meyer (15.08) and senior captain Sean Walsh (15.61).
Cummings got his second win of the day in the 100-meter dash, winning the event in 10.48 seconds. Sophomore A.J. Chavez followed suit in the 1,500-meter run, winning the event in 4:01.23 over Albany’s Chris Buchanan.
The 800-meter run played out in a very similar fashion. Sophomore Mike O’Donnell grabbed first with a time of 1:53.63. Junior Nick Bertoline (1:53.86) took second and junior Nick O’Leary (1:54.61) finished fourth to total 22 points for the Huskies in the event.
Senior James Lowe won the 400-meter hurdles in 54.56 seconds, edging out Henry (55.32) on Senior Day to take the win. Amonu took 10 points for the Huskies in the 200-meter dash, beating Albany’s Robert Harris III by two hundredths of a second.
In the Javelin throw, senior Brian Eilers led the Huskies to a podium sweep. Eilers won the event with a 63.74-meter (209’ 1”) throw, followed by junior Adam Boucher, whose 62.46-meter (204’ 11”) throw took second and freshman Seth Zuidema, who took third with a throw of 62.30 meters (204’ 5”).
Senior Cory Duggan made his mark on Senior Day, winning the pole vault over teammate Craig Hunter. Duggan won the event handily, clearing 5.15 meters (16’ 10.75”).
Roy was particularly pleased with how the team fared against Albany, a team that has done well against the Huskies in recent meets.
“Albany’s a team that’s given us a lot of trouble over the years,” Roy said. They’ve beaten us a couple times, but I thought that we really took it to them, and they’re a good team.”
The Huskies return to action next weekend with two meets. Part of the team will travel to Baton Rouge to compete in the LSU Alumni Gold meet, while part will drive down to New Jersey for the Larry Ellis Invitational.