Sept. 15, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - The UConn Men's Cross Country team is set to begin the 2011 campaign on Saturday, September 17, at the UMass Invitational. The Huskies enter the season coming off a 2010 year where the team recorded three top-five finishes en route to a 10th place finish at the BIG EAST Championship and a second place finish at the IC4A Championship.
"The UMass Invitational is a good test for us as it is our first race of the year," stated Associate Head Coach Rich Miller. "We will be competing against schools that have a strong cross country tradition in the northeast."
The Huskies aim to improve on last year's performance at the UMass Invitational after coming in second place behind the hosting Minutemen.
"We have two goals for this year's UMass Invitational. First, we want to win the meet. Second, we want to have 45 seconds or less separation from our first to fifth finisher," Miller continued.
The 13-man roster is led by junior Nick Aguila (West Hartford, Conn.), junior Jordan Magath (Hillsborough, N.J.) and sophomore Ryan McGuire (Orange, Conn.). The trio led the Huskies in almost every meet last year, including each recording top-12 finishes in UConn's fourth place finish at the IC4A Championship.
Other key returners for the Huskies include senior Scott Johnson (Old Lyme, Conn.) and junior twins Alex Bennatan and Tim Bennatan (Lake Forrest, Ill.). Johnson was a BIG EAST scorer in the mile and steeple chase during the track and field season and is returning to the cross country roster after taking a year off. The Husky coaches are looking for a breakout year from the Bennatan's who have competed in the shadows of All-Americans Mike Rutt and Brian Gagnon their first two years.
"I am looking forward to this race as our individuals have shown significant development over the past year and a half and have shown great fitness in our early season testing and workouts," finished Miller.