NEW YORK CITY (February 5, 2009) - The University of Connecticut men's track team will head down to New York City to participate in one of the most prestigious college track tournaments on February 6 and 7 at the Collegiate Invitational at the world famous Armory track.
The Collegiate Invitational is the top college track meet outside of the NCAA Championship this season. Over 100 colleges and universities across the country will be taking part in the meet as well as eight of the top 25 track teams in the country. #4 Oregon, #6 Florida State, #8 BYU, #9 Texas, #10 LSU, #14 South Carolina and #17 Baylor are all making the trip up north.
This is the second season that UConn will be participating in the meet. Last season the Huskies took 12th place among the top colleges in the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:16.21. UConn will look to improve upon that time and try to break into the top-10. The Huskies also had a top-20 finish in the 4x800m relay finishing 17th overall. UConn will participate in that event as well this season and will also add the distance medley to their list of relay races on the day. Last weekend at the Harvard Quad, UConn took first in the distance medley and would like to continue upon their success.
Andrew Dubs, who is currently undefeated in the shot put this season with four victories, placed fourth overall last season with a booming throw of 17.36m (56-11.50). This season he has already out thrown that mark setting a new indoor personal record of 17.65m (57-11) at the Terrier Invitational and will look to remain undefeated and take the shot put title.
All-Americans Mike Rutt and Brian Gagnon will be competing in the 800m race. Both have already provisionally qualified for NCAAs but want to seal the deal. Rutt upped his provisional qualifying time to 1:49.26 last weekend at the Harvard Quad and for his efforts took home BIG EAST Track Athlete of the Week honors. Gagnon's qualifying time currently sits at 1:50.63. Last year at the Collegiate Invitational, Rutt placed sixth with a 1:50.79 time.
In the distance runs, Scott Johnson and Will Sanders will be competing in the one-mile and 3000m races respectively. Johnson holds the best UConn mark in the mile race this season with a time of 4:10.20 while Sanders holds the edge in the 3000m race with a time of 8:16.58, almost 11 seconds better than his 2008 indoor personal record which he set at the Collegiate Invitational last season.
High jumpers Marquis Thomas and Ellis Gaulden are both trying to take home the victory this season. Last year, Gaulden came home with the mark jumping 2.11m (6-11) for the victory. This season, Thomas has already outjumped that height with a new personal record and NCAA provisional qualifying jump of 2.18m (7-1.75). Gaulden has only competed once this year, last week at the Harvard Quad and came away with a 2 meter jump. He hopes to defend his title this weekend.