Feb. 19, 2012
NEW YORK, N.Y.-The University of Connecticut men’s track and field team concluded the BIG EAST Indoor Championship on Sunday taking home second place following three first place finishes, two second places and three bronze medals. The Huskies tallied 103 points for to earn their second place spot on the BIG EAST podium at the Armory Track.
“The rivalry we have with Notre Dame is fierce, as one or the other of us has won the Indoor title for the last 10 yrs running. To finish second is no disgrace, but we had our opportunities and just needed to capitalize on a few more in order to keep the title in Storrs,” stated Head Coach Greg Roy.
Junior captain Jake Waruch (Kerhonkson, N.Y.) captured the gold medal in the heptathlon registering 5,497 points to give the Huskies 10 points towards their second place finish in the BIG EAST Championship. The first place finish is a new career high for Waruch. He placed first in the high jump (2.05m), the pole vault (4.50m) and the 1,000m (2:42.46) en route to his title. Waruch’s 5,497 points, 92 points ahead of second place, breaks former Husky Aaron King’s meet record of 5,460 points.
"Jake Waruch’s record breaking performance lead the Heptathletes to a 21 point haul that put us in the lead. We held that lead until the last four events when we just ran out of scorers,” continued Roy.
Sophomore Jesse Chapman (East Thetford, Vt.) took home the bronze for UConn with 5,184 points which is a new career high. Following a strong showing on Saturday, Chapman continued his success on Sunday with a second place finish in the 60m hurdles (8.54) and second in the pole vault (4.40m).
On the track, sophomore Darnell Cummings (Millbrook, N.Y.) finished fourth in both the 60 meter dash (6.86) and 200m (21.77) finals. Junior Joe Clark (West Islip, N.Y.) grabbed the bronze with a time of 4:08.32 in the mile, while senior Alex Bennatan (Lake Forest, Ill.) finished fourth in the 800m run in 1:53.48.
Senior Tim Bennatan (Lake Forest, Ill.) added another gold to Connecticut’s count as he finished first in the 1,000m in a time of 2:29.96.
“Tim Bennatan had a competitive breakthrough in his Championship run in the 1000m,” Roy said.
The Huskies concluded the 4x800 meter relay third in 7:32.57 which automatically qualifies for the IC4A Championships. The Bennatan brothers, Clark and senior Scott Johnson comprised the bronze medal group.
Junior Noel James (Whitman, Mass.) took home his first BIG EAST title as he placed first in the high jump with a personal best leap of 2.19m.
"Nationally ranked high jumper Noel James boomed his 7'2 1/4" jump to dominate the high jump field, having no misses until he narrowly missed a conference record jump at 7'3 1/2”,” concluded Roy.
To conclude the field events, senior captain Mike Alleman (Scotch Plains, N.J.) had a toss of 17.33m in the shot put to podium in third place.
Connecticut will continue the championship season on Feb. 24-25 at the New England Championships.