STORRS, Conn. – With the 2017 indoor season right around the corner, UConn men’s track and field head coach Greg Roy announced the team captains for the upcoming indoor season. Five seniors, Chinedu Amonu, Demario Gray, Craig Hunter, John Landis and Michael O'Donnell, will lead the Huskies for the 2017 campaign.
“These five seniors are emblematic of the type of young men we aspire to recruit to our program,” Roy said, “They are accomplished students as well as athletes. Their character, work ethic and competitiveness provide a shining example for the student-athletes in our program.”
UConn will open up its indoor schedule on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the Great Dane Classic. The Huskies will look to improve upon a third-place finish at the 2016 American Athletic Conference indoor championship. Connecticut is competing in its fourth season in The American and searching for its second AAC indoor title after collecting the inaugural crown in 2014.
Amonu, who will serve as a first-time team captain this year, helped the Huskies to a third-place finish at the 2016 American indoor championship after he helped the 4X400m relay team secure a first place finish with a 3:13.20 time. Amonu also contributed five points with a fourth place finished in the 400m dash with a time of 48.26. The Ewing, N.J. native set a personal record 46.04 400m dash time at the 2016 American outdoor championship to earn second-place and contribute eight points towards the Huskies overall second-place finish.
Demario Gray earned the distinction as a captain for the first time of his career. The Bloomfield, Conn. native took second-place in the high jump with a career-best 2.06m leap at the 2016 American indoor championship. He was also the Huskies’ top finisher in the long jump, checking in at fourth place with a career-best leap of 7.05m. During the 2016 outdoor season, Gray set a new personal record in the high jump with a 2.11m leap at the 2016 AAC outdoor championship where he took fourth place and helped UConn to a second place finish, earning five points.
After setting the program pole vault record for the second consecutive season in 2016, Hunter will serve as a team captain for the first time in his UConn tenure. A 2016 First Team All-American, Hunter registered a lifetime and program-best in the 2016 NCAA outdoor championship after clearing 5.45m. Hunter advanced to the NCAA championship after posting a 5.30m mark at the NCAA East Regional on May 26 in Jacksonville, Fla. The Robbinsville, N.J. native turned in a standout outdoor campaign after redshirting during the 2016 indoor season.
Landis will also serve as a first-time captain. After sitting out the 2016 indoor season, Landis shattered his previous career-best in the long jump at the Texas State Bobcat Invitational where he registered a 7.36m jump. The Philadelphia, Pa. native also took third in the triple jump with a career-best 15.20m leap at the 2015 American Athletic Conference outdoor championships and also took eighth in the long jump at the event (6.88m). Landis also helped the UConn 4x100m relay team to a bronze medal finish at the conference outdoor championship to add six points to the Huskies’ total and overall second place finish.
The 2016 outdoor 1,500m run conference champion, O’Donnell will round out this year’s five team captains. The UConn distance runner also sat out the 2016 indoor season, but returned for the outdoor season where he set personal-bests in the 1,500m (3:45.09) and the 5000m (14:24.84). The Methuen, Mass. Native was crowned the conference’s 1,500m run champion, winning the event with a 3:50.09 second finish. He also finished eighth in the 5000m run final with a time of 14:42.31.