AMHERST, Mass. – Competing in its first meet of 2015, the UConn men’s cross country team collected a first-place finish at the 2015 Minutemen Invitational, hosted by UMass, on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies posted a meet-best 53 points, edging out Amherst (59) and Maine (86) for the top spot.
As a team, UConn averaged a 19:53 time in the 6K race, which was .01 seconds better than the Amherst average finish.
Junior tri-captain Mike O’Donnell posted the top finish on the team, taking second overall with a 19:31.2 result. Michael McGonnigle took fifth (19:48.8) and Patrick Begley (19:53.0) secured the Huskies’ third top-10 finish when he checked in in ninth.
Freshman Kyle Brackman impressed in his first collegiate showing, taking 17th at 20:06.4, while fellow rookie PJ Garmon placed 20th (20:09.7). Also earning top-50 finishes were Aidan Fiol (20:10.7), Parker Timmerman (20:13.8). Alvaro Chavez (20:22.6), Chris Heydrick (20:23.4), Kyle Barber (20:26.7) and Nick Bertoline (20:50.0).
“I think our young guys really stepped it up today,” said Husky head coach Greg Roy. “We were aggressive on a very hot day. I think we paid for that a little in the middle of the race but we rallied in the last mile. It was a solid start for our team.”
The Huskies entered the season with a 17-man roster includes six freshman and a pair of All-Conference selections (McGonnigle, O'Donnell). The program welcomed Barber(Fayetteville, N.Y.), Brackman (Berkeley Heights, N.J.), Garmon (Billerica, Mass.), Heydrick (Elliot City, Md.), Connor Holm (Rosemont, Pa.), and Matt Russo (Westfield, N.J.) to the Storrs Campus for the start of the 2015-16 academic year.
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After a 13-day break, the team returns to action when it heads to Boston, Mass. to compete in the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown set for Saturday, Sept. 26.
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