NEW YORK – The UConn men’s track and field team tacked on the finishing touches at the Artie O’Connor Invitational Friday at the Armory in preparation for the conference championship next weekend.
The Huskies commanded the competition with eight first place finishes, which put them on top in the end, 100 points ahead of the second-place team.
“It was a relatively low key meet with about one third of the squad home training or resting up for AAC’s,” UConn head coach Greg Roy said, “The kids that competed really took advantage of the opportunity. Randall Wall looked really sharp winning the hurdles. Chris Heydrick will be dangerous in the mile. The horizontal jumpers were on a limited jump count and looked tough. Captain Mike O’Donnell looked dynamite in the 1000m and fellow captain Craig Hunter skyed 17’3 in the vault and had some great pops at 17’11 plus. All in all, it looks like it’s time to head to Birmingham and see what we’ve got!”
Senior captain Michael O’Donnell shined in the 1000m, taking first-place with a new personal record time of 2:29.13, almost four seconds ahead of the rest of the pack.
UConn dominated in the pole vault, claiming the top-three spots. Senior Craig Hunter captured his sixth first-place finish this year with a season-best 5.25m vault. Sophomore Ian Bergere took second while junior Chandler Ives finished third.
Senior Randall Wall was a highlight in UConn’s overall performance, winning the 60m hurdles with a personal-best time of 8.15. Sophomore Shawn Fletcher finished third in the hurdles at 8.62.
The Huskies also garnered the top-three spots in both the 800m and the mile run. Sophomore Kyle Barber claimed the first-place crown in the 800m (1:53.20) with fellow sophomore Peter Garmon in second (1:53.95) and junior Parker Timmerman in third (1:55.97).
Sophomore Chris Heydrick claimed the top spot in the mile run with a time of 4:13.14. Sophomore Kyle Brackman came in second with a personal record time of 4:17.88 and freshman James Mas rounded out the top-three with a career-best time (4:18.31).
In the jumps, sophomore Malik Snead took home first place with a 7.18m lunge. Senior John Landis came in third in that event with a 6.99m mark. Freshman Ronel Forde grabbed his second career first-place finish in the triple jump Friday, adding another win to UConn’s total with a 14.73m mark.
The Huskies travel to Birmingham, Ala. for the American Athletic Conference indoor championship, which is set to begin on Friday, Feb. 24.