STORRS, Conn. -
The UConn men's cross country team is back in action for the second time in 2017 when it travels to the Paul Short Run at Lehigh University on Friday. The Huskies are in the Gold Race, which starts at 11 a.m. The Huskies won the Minuteman Invitational two weeks ago and are currently ranked 11th in the Northeast Region by the USTFCCCA.
"We will know where we are as a team after this race," said UConn head coach Greg Roy. "The style of this race is that of an NCAA qualifier with a lot of teams and runners. You have to know how to run your race and style in an event like this. You have to stay focused and not go with the tide because you can fall behind. However, if you are a person who can climb the ladder in the middle of a race, you can really do well here."
The Huskies will have a similar type of race on Friday, Oct. 13 when they travel to the Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison.
The Paul Short Run will see the season debut of senior Mike O'Donnell (Methuen, Mass.), who was sixth at last year's American Athletic Conference Championship and seventh at New Englands.
It will also be the UConn cross country debut of redshirt freshman Eric Van der els (Norwalk, Conn.). Van der els is coming off an incredible summer, where he won the 1,500-meter run at the Pan American Junior Championships in Lima, Peru. He set a meet record with a 3:43.16 performance.
O'Donnell serves as one of the team's three captains this fall along with redshirt junior Michael McGonnigle (New Fairfield, Conn.) and redshirt junior Patrick Begley (Suffield, Conn.).
This year's event is the 44th version of the Paul Short Run and is held on Lehigh's Goodman campus.
"It's one of the great cross country courses in the country and has hosted the NCAAs twice," said Roy. "It is grass all the way and has some challenging, rolling hills. There are only a few spots where you can really get a rhythm going."
It is named after Paul Short, a former Lehigh student-athlete and coach in four sports, who passed away in 1967. The meet features 14 races with six college events with a total of 6,000 athletes from 450 colleges and high schools.
For more information on the event, please CLICK HERE.