O'Donnell and Masington Win Gold as UConn Takes Third in Conference Championship

Eric Masington captured the discus throw on Sunday
Eric Masington captured the discus throw on Sunday UCONNHUSKIESDOTCOM

May 4, 2014

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TAMPA, Fla. – Freshman Mike O’Donnell won the 1,500m run and senior Eric Masington took home the discus title to lead UConn men’s track and field to third place at the inaugural American Athletic Conferene Outdoor Championship on Sunday in Florida.

The Huskies finished with 144 points across the three day meet, just shy of second-place Memphis’ 147. Houston claimed the inaugural outdoor title with 156.5 points.

O’Donnell entered the weekend with the top 1,500m time in the American, set the top qualifying time in Saturday’s preliminary heats and raced to the gold medal on Sunday afternoon. His time of 3:53.66 not only topped the podium but also represented a UConn sweep in the event. His counterpart on the women’s team, Brigitte Mania, also captured the event for Connecticut. Teammate Nick Bertoline grabbed the silver medal for a one-two finish with a time of 3:55.20.

Senior captain Eric Masington led by example in his events, taking fifth in the shot put (16.59m) before collecting UConn’s second top-finish and his first individual conference title. Masington dominated the competition in the discus throw, launching for a distance of 57.80m to take first place by five meters more than his nearest competition in Memphis’ Luke Vaughn. Matthew Graziano added a fourth place finish (50.81m) and Jesse Chapman took twelfth to round out the UConn effort.

The 4x400m relay team of Kyle Twombly, Robert Hovanec, Chinedu Amonu and Robert Rhodes raced to a bronze medal in the meet-concluding event. The squad finished in 3:11.33 to take third place.

In the sprints, Darnell Cummings and Patrick Hayes finished in fourth and fifth places, respectively, in the 100m dash. Cummings crossed the line in 10.88 followed closely by Hayes in 10.90. The pair once again flipped results in the 200m finals, with Hayes leading in fifth place in 21.36 and Cummings taking sixth in 21.44. 

Connecticut posted three top-ten results in the 800m run. Robert Rhodes paced the effort with a bronze medal in 1:51.95, followed by Paul DeSalvo in sixth with a 1:52.74 result. Philip Caldwell took home eighth place in 1:58.11.

Randall Wall was the lone Husky to earn a spot in the 110m hurdles finals. He locked up sixth place with a time of 14.90. In the 400m hurdles race, Aaeron Sykes and James Lowe posted a four-five finish, respectively. 

Rookie pole vaulter Craig Hunter once again led the UConn effort in the event. His best height of 5.08m was good for fourth place, while Connor Grunwald took eleventh place.

The Huskies will turn their collective gaze towards the upcoming New England Championships. The squad will begin competition on May 8 in Westfield, Mass. The meet concludes on Sunday, May 10.

Complete UConn Results:


100m Dash

4. Darnell Cummings – 10.88

5. Patrick Hayes – 10.90


200m Dash

5. Patrick Hayes – 21.36

6. Darnell Cummings – 21.44


400m Dash

6. Chinedu Amonu – 47.92

8. Robert Hovanec – 49.61


800m Run

3. Robert Rhodes – 1:51.95

6. Paul DeSalvo – 1:52.74

8. Philip Caldwell – 1:58.11


1500m Run

1. Michael O’Donnell – 3:53.66

2. Nick Bertoline – 3:55.20


5000m Run

2. Bryan Fowler – 14:24.38


10000m Run

3. Ned Wilson – 31:22.45


110m Hurdles

6. Randall Wall – 14.90


400m Hurdles

4. Aaeron Sykes – 53.50

5. James Lowe – 53.82


4x100m Relay

5. Hayes, Cummings, Hovanec, Amonu – 41.31


4x400m Relay

3. Twombly, Hovanec, Amonu, Rhodes – 3:11.33


High Jump

6. Tobey Belton – 2.00m


Pole Vault

4. Craig Hunter – 5.08m

11. Connor Grunwald – 4.78m

15. Tim Murphy – 4.63m


Long Jump

6. John Landis – 7.06m

11. Harley Lacroix – 6.76m


Triple Jump

7. John Landis – 14.52m

8. Harley Lacroix – 14.48m

10. Treval Hatcher – 14.02m


Shot Put

5. Eric Masington – 16.59m


Discus Throw

1. Eric Masington – 57.80m

4. Matthew Graziano – 50.81m

12. Jesse Chapman – 44.93m


Hammer Throw

10. Oluwatosin Edwards – 49.50m


Javelin Throw

2. Brian Eilers – 65.13m

6. Kevin Foster – 60.19m

8. Sam Smith – 57.23m

9. Adam Boucher – 55.50m


2. Jesse Chapman – 7,031

4. Sam Smith – 6,532

6. Sean Walsh – 6,348