STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut men’s cross country team is set to begin the 2014 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 13 when it travels to Stony Brook, N.Y. to take part in the Wolfie Invitational. The race is scheduled for 11:15 a.m.
The Huskies enter the season coming off a fourth-place finish in the inaugural American Athletic Conference Championship last November. UConn’s 21-man roster is led by senior David Cotton (Madison, Conn.) and junior Ned Wilson (Hartford, Conn.). Cotton grabbed a 17th-place finish at the conference championship, finishing the 8K race in 24:28.35, while Wilson checked in at No. 23 with a time of 24:40.50.
“Dave and Ned bring an important level of leadership and experience to our team,” Husky head coach Greg Roy stated. “We have a young team and it is great to have student-athletes with experience to help us through the season. Both guys are running very well right now.”
The Huskies’ top returner in The American Championships last season, Michael O’Donnell, will redshirt after a successful 2013-14 season which saw him compete at the 2014 USATF Junior Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. in early July.
“Michael had a great year for us,” Roy explained. “Because he was competing so deep into the summer, we felt it was in his best interest to get him rest. We see this as a positive for his future.”
The American Athletic Conference saw a shake-up over the offseason with Louisville and Rutgers departing and Tulsa, East Carolina, and Tulane joining the group. In the preseason USTFCCCA national poll, the Hurricane was selected as the No. 18 team in the country.
“There are definitely new challenges in our conference but we are ready to go out and compete against quality competition.”
Roy and his staff are looking forward to the Wolfie Invitational on Saturday in a race that features runners from numerous nationally-recognized squads. The annual race is hosted by Stony Brook, which earned the No. 14 ranking in the preseason USTFCCCA Northeast Region. The Friars were tabbed as the No. 3 team in the region, while Columbia checked in No. 4.
"The “Wolfie” brings together national powers Providence and Columbia at Stony Brook,” said Roy. “Providence has a very good team and Columbia has tremendous depth. We’re going to know a lot more about our team after this weekend. We’re excited to get back out there.”
Check back to UConnHuskies.com for complete race results following the season-opener.