STORRS, Conn. - The UConn men's cross country team is headed to Philadelphia's Belmont Plateau on Saturday morning for the 2017 running of the American Athletic Conference Championship race.
The men's 8k race is set to fire off at 10:00 am with the women's 6k race to follow at approximately 10:50 am. The Huskies will run in a 10-team field featuring Cincinnati, ECU, Houston, Memphis, USF, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa and Wichita State.
The Huskies head into the championship race after a week off and fully rested. "Our kids are healthy, fit and excited," commented head coach Greg Roy. "It just comes down to who is going to be better on that day.
UConn was ranked 10th in the last USTFCCCA Northeast Region top-15 poll.
Junior Patrick Begley (Suffield, Conn.) has a win under his belt this season when he took home his first-career individual title at the season opening Minuteman Invitational race. Begley returns to the Huskies lineup at the AAC race after missing last year's cross country season. He finished 19th at the 2015 race.
Senior Mike O'Donnell is a two-time All-AAC runner and last fall, took sixth-place finish at title race. Junior Michael McGonnigle (New Fairfield, Conn.) ran in 24th place in last year's AAC Championship but was All-Conference in 2014 after a 13th place finish.
"Patrick Begley has done a great job as the number one guy this year and he has very high expectations," stated the head coach. "Mike O'Donnell has been All-Conference two years in a row and Michael McGonnigle was all-conference two years ago."
`"In order for us to win, we will need to have five runners finish in the top-15 and be named All-Conference. There are a lot of teams in this league with some great runners and this is going to be a different kind of course for us. Courses in past AAC Championships have been pancake-flat and this one has some significant hills on it, including parachute hill so it will be a challenge for everyone."
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