GREENVILLE, N.C. - Junior standout Mike O’Donnell crossed the line in sixth overall to lead the UConn men’s cross country team to a second-place team finish at the 2015 American Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday, Oct. 31 at Lake Kristi in North Carolina. The result is the best league meet finish for UConn since it took second in the 1990 Big East Championship and also marks the program’s top result in three years of competition in The American.
The Huskies finished the 8K race with 96 total team points, trailing only meet-winner and 13th-ranked Tulsa (22). Next up, regionally-ranked Houston (No. 8, South-Central) tallied 101, while Temple (No. 12, Mid-Atlantic) scored 110. Cincinnati (119), Tulane (152), host-school East Carolina (153), UCF (194) and Memphis (230) rounded out the top-nine spots.
O’Donnell collected Connecticut’s best-ever individual American Athletic Conference Championship performance, taking sixth at 23:57.08. Teammates Alvaro Chavez (24:40.90) and Patrick Begley (24:43.06) took 18th and 19th, respectively, while Nick Bertoline (24:53.91) also collected a top-25 individual finish. Freshman PJ Garmon took 31st (25:02.82) followed up by Parker Timmerman (25:10.65), Kyle Brackman (25:22.89), Ned Wilson (25:30.48) and Aidan Fiol (25:49.49).
“We wanted to come out here and compete against No. 13 Tulsa and I’m proud of the way our guys fought,” said head coach Greg Roy. “The course presented some challenges but our guys really rallied over the final 2.5 miles to battle for the second-place finish. I’m happy with the leadership of this team. Ned Wilson might not have had the race he wanted but he’s been a captain for two years and is truly one of the most exceptional leaders I’ve ever coached at UConn.”
Lake Kristi serves as the home course for the East Carolina men's and women's cross country teams. The course has been the home to numerous cross country meets throughout the years, including four NCAA Regionals and a pair of Conference USA Championship meets. Saturday's meet marked the Huskies' first-ever trip to the competition site.
To view complete and individual race results, please CLICK HERE.
The Huskies will turn their attention to the 2015 NCAA Northeast Regionals set for Friday, Nov. 13 at historic Franklin Park in Boston, Mass. Check back with uconnhuskies.com for a complete preview of the event.