Oct. 11, 2012
STORRS, Conn. --- With the sound of an air horn, the University of Connecticut men's basketball team led a group of well over 100 runners into the annual Husky Run on campus Thursday, unofficially kicking off the 2012-13 season.
The Husky Run, a 3.4-mile trek that begins at the corner of Hillside Rd. and Stadium Rd., signals the end of the Huskies' preseason conditioning and leads into the First Night festivities, scheduled for Friday night. First Night, in turn, leads to the team's first official practice on Saturday morning.
Sophomore forward DeAndre Daniels (Los Angeles, Calif.) was the first of the scholarship Huskies to cross the finish line (18:47), finishing just seconds behind overall winner, UConn senior Tim Isselee (18:39).
"That was a pretty tough one," Daniels said. "I wanted to come in first. Me, just being a competitive guy as I am and liking to win in everything I do. I wanted to defend my title from last year."
An exhausted Daniels needed some time to recover after the run.
"I was telling him (Isselee) I couldn't let him beat me but obviously he got me at the end," Daniels said. "I almost passed out so I had to lay on the ground. I was dizzy."
Isselee received a new sweatsuit as the prize for his victory, while every runner who participated received a Husky Run tee-shirt and post-race refreshments.
Sophomore guard Ryan Boatright (Aurora, Ill.) followed Daniels among the Huskies, touring the course in 19:37, while junior Niels Giffey (Berlin, Germany) and freshman Leon Tolksdorf (Berlin, Germany) were next, in 20:18 and 20:20, respectively.
The remainder of the UConn players, in order of finish, were sophomore Brendan Allen (Windsor, Conn.) in 20:48, freshman Omar Clahoun (Brooklyn, N.Y.) in 22:27, junior Tyler Olander (Mansfield, Conn.) in 22:28, freshman Phil Nolan (Milwaukee, Wis.) in 23:35, junior Enosch Wolf (Goettingen, Germany) in 23:47, and grad student R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) in 25:02.
Junior Shabazz Napier, who did not participate in the Husky Run while he continues to recover from off-season surgery on his right foot, spoke before the run began, thanking all the participants for their support and reminding them to support the Huskies throughout the season.
Head coach Kevin Ollie looked on approvingly as every one of the Huskies finished in 25:02 or less, likely one of the best overall team performances in the 27-year history of the Run.
"It's a good way to get us started," Ollie said, "but I might have to come out of retirement and run next year."