Feb. 28, 2014
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y.- After the first day of competition at the American Athletic Conference Championship, the University of Connecticut women’s track & field team sits in third place behind SMU and Louisville. The Huskies amassed 33 points in the first day of competition.
Emily Durgin put for a remarkable effort to pace the Huskies, winning the 5000 meter run in 16:47.81 for UConn’s first top finish of the championship. Teammate Lauren Sara grabbed second place in the 5000 meter, combining with Durgin to earn 18 points for the Huskies. Abby Mace earned seventh place with 17:26.87 to round out the Connecticut effort.
After only twenty minutes of rest, Durgin returned to the track and anchored the Distance Medley relay to a first place finish in 11:36.24, nearly five seconds faster than the second place finisher in Louisville. Laura Williamson led off for the Huskies and put Connecticut out in front. Nyanke Joseph took the second leg and extended the league, handing off to Maggie Christe who maintained the separation on the third leg. Durgin put the race away on the anchor leg to seal the win for UConn.
The Huskies also received three points in the long jump, where Sarah Bowens leapt for 5.97m to grab sixth place.
19 Huskies will compete in the final day of the American Athletic Conference Championships tomorrow, in addition to the 4x400 meter relay that concludes the day. Connecticut will look to take advantage of these 22 chances to score points.
Qualifying for finals tomorrow were Chantal Scott and Maddie Smith in the 60 meter hurdles. Smith ran a season-best 8.59 to make the cut. Senior standout Celina Emerson qualified for the 400 meter dash and both Taylor Anderson and Deysha-Smith Jenkins will represent UConn in the 60 meter and 200 meter finals. Anderson ran personal-bests in both heats to advance, posting a 7.49 in the 60 meter dash and a 24.34 in the 200m.
The final day of competition kicks off tomorrow with Natasha McLaren in the high jump. The Huskies anticipate big points from their senior leader. In the afternoon, Laura Williamson and Maggie Christe of UConn’s winning DMR team will look for additional first place finishes when they compete in the mile run. Connecticut’s five triple jumpers – Odrine Belot, Sarah Bowens, Melodee Riley, Christine Donat and Brittany Power – will look to add points for the team. Kelly Myers rounds out the field events in the shot put.
The last two events of the day will be the 3,000 meter run and the 4x400 meter relay to end the meet. Emily Durgin, Lauren Sara and Abby Mace will get some rest tonight before doubling back to compete in the 3,000 meter run tomorrow.
“I am proud of the way we competed on the first day,” associate head coach Clive Terrelonge commented. “We are excited for day two. Day two is championship day and we always show up to compete on championship day at the Armory. The team showed tremendous courage today and will carry that momentum over into tomorrow.”
TEAM STANDINGS (Day One)
1. SMU 44
2. Louisville 39
3. UConn 33
4. Memphis 28.5
5. Houston 18.5
6. UCF 18
8. USF 16
10. Temple 3