May 8, 2011
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Following four BIG EAST Titles, including two on the final day of competition, the University of Connecticut men's track and field team was crowned the 2011 BIG EAST Outdoor Champion. The Huskies tallied 141 points throughout the three-day competition, edging out Notre Dame, who placed second with 133 points. Over the span of three days, the Huskies posted 17 top-five marks, including two top finishes in four events.
"This was one of the best performances that I have been a part of," head coach Greg Roy said. "It was a total team victory for us and everyone just came out and competed over the past three days to allow us to come away with another championship. It is hard to pinpoint specific events that were the best during this meet because it was such an incredible team performance."
After winning the decathlon and placing second in the triple jump, UConn's Aaron King was named the 2011 BIG EAST Outstanding Field Performer. King becomes the fourth Husky to earn the honor and the second straight UConn athlete to be named the outstanding field performer.
The 4x100m relay quartet of Kashif Moore, Kevin Smith, Darnell Cummings and Jesse Drinks brought home UConn's first BIG EAST title on the final day of competition, crossing the line in a UConn record time of 40.69. This is just the second conference title for the Huskies in the event, as a UConn foursome also posted the top time during the 2007 championship.
Tyrone Faverey posted the second BIG EAST title for UConn today, as the duo of Faverey and King went one-two in the triple jump. Faverey's top mark of 15.57m today is the best distance for UConn this season, while King's best distance of 15.47m is a personal-best for him. Faverey's crown marked his first conference title, while it also marked the first for a UConn athlete in the triple jump since 1995.
"We were really able to take control of the meet following Tyrone and Aaron's performances in the triple jump," Roy said. " For the first time in three days we were able to take over the lead in the team standings and not only take over, but give ourselves a cushion going into the final events."
The Huskies qualified three athletes for the 100m dash finals, which tied the most of any school, and earned 14 points in the event. Drinks led UConn with a second place finish recording a UConn season-best time of 10.56, while Cummings placed third with a season-best time of 10.59 and Kevin Smith finished eighth (11.05).
Mike Rutt, who posted a UConn season-best of 1:48.57 in the 800m run, just got edged out in the final 100 meters of the race to place second, while teammate Dan Holst finished sixth with a season-best time of 1:50.14.
In his third event of the day, Drinks posted a third place finish in the 200m dash, crossing the line in a UConn season-best time of 21.51. Cummings, also running in his third race of the day, placed fifth in the 200m dash, posting a season-best time of 21.65.
Justin Blades tied his season-best mark in the pole vault with a height of 4.50m to place seventh in the event for the Huskies. Also posting points for UConn on the final day was Kyle Edmonds who finished sixth in the 400m hurdles with a UConn season-best time of 51.96.
The final event of the BIG EAST Championship was the 4x400m relay, in which the Huskies placed eighth, securing their 2011 outdoor championship. The quartet of Edmonds, Matt Granata, Brandon Fowler and Chris Whyte posted a season-best time of 3:15.56.
"A month ago anybody would have counted this team out of a BIG EAST Championship with everything that was going wrong, but all of these guys stayed with it and came out here and gave it everything they had," Roy said. "We had athletes who got it done that we weren't expecting to and also athletes who didn't place as high as we would have expected. We had a great support staff here this weekend that allowed our athletes to compete at the highest level and in turn, earn our third BIG EAST outdoor crown."
After guiding their team to a third BIG EAST Outdoor Championship, head coach Greg Roy, associate head coach Ted Gibbons and assistant coach Rich Miller were named the 2011 BIG EAST Outdoor Coaching Staff of the Year.
Next weekend the Huskies will be competing in the IC4A Championship and the New England Championship. UConn will defend its New England Indoor Championship from Thursday, May 12 through Saturday, May 14, while they will defend their IC4A Indoor Championship from Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15.
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