BOSTON – Coming off a first-place finish at the Minutemen Invitational in its season opener, the UConn men’s cross country team finished 14th at the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown on Friday at historic Franklin Park in Boston, Mass. The Huskies concluded the meet with 422 points, while Syracuse captured the crown with a meet-best score of 25.
Sophomore co-captain Mike O’Donnell led the way for the Huskies in the 8K invitational race, crossing the line in 23:45.8 en route to a 27th-place finish. Next up, Ned Wilson (25:37.5) took 97th before sophomore Parker Timmerman collected a 106th-place overall finish with a 25:43.9 time. Aidan Fiol (25:47.1), Kyle Brackman (25:59.7), Patrick Begley (26:14.3), Wyatt Million (26:14.5) and Nick Bertoline (26:30.3) all grabbed top-160 finishes.
The meet featured many of the top schools from the region, including No. 1 Syracuse, No. 3 Providence, No. 4 Cornell, No. 6 Dartmouth and No. 10 Brown.
"On paper it may be a little difficult to be excited about a 14th-place finish," said head coach Greg Roy. "However, last year our top finisher was 124th and this season we had seven finishers in the top-120. Even more encouraging was the way we attacked the competition. I was pleased with the way we came out agressive against some of the nation's top talent. A season ago, we wouldn't have considered racing a team like Syracuse and this season we went right at them."
Following the conclusion of the men’s 8K invitational, a co-ed 5K race took place at 4:15 p.m. Freshman standout P.J. Garmon collected a top-10 finish when he checked in in eighth with a 15:38.4 overall time, while teammate Alvaro Chavez nabbed 12th at 15:47.4. Kyle Barber (15:58.8) and Matt Russo (15:59.8) took 22nd and 23rd, respectively, while Nick O’Leary (16:25.0) and Kevin Rogovich (16:32.6) each concluded the event with top-50 times.
The 14th-place finish is an improvement on last season when the squad took 18th overall.
As a team, the Huskies averaged a 25:34 8K time.
UConn returns to competition on Friday, Oct. 2 when it competes in the 42nd annual Paul Short Run at Lehigh University.