May 12, 2013
PRINCETON, N.J.- Victoria Flowers guided the UConn women’s track and field team to the 2013 Outdoor ECAC Championship crown over the weekend as the five-time All-American won both the hammer and the shot put. The Huskies walked away with the ninth ECAC title under head coach Bill Morgan after registering 73 points with second place Maryland –Eastern Shore finishing with 53 points. Connecticut had three gold medals with the team tallying 35 points in the field events, 31 on the track and six in the multi. This was Connecticut's fourth ECAC title in the last six years.
The Providence, R.I. native posted a throw of 62.65m (205-06) in the hammer throw and a hurl of 16.59m (54-05.25) in the shot put. The pair of gold medals for Flowers are the first outdoor ECAC titles she has earned, while it marks her fifth and sixth total ECAC crowns following winning the shot put and weight throw this indoor season.
Also reaching the top tier for the Huskies was junior All-American Natasha McLaren (Stroudsburg, Pa.) who claimed first in the high jump with a leap of 1.79m (5-10.50). Connecticut totaled 15 points in the high jump after senior All-American Ilva Bikanova (Madonas, Latvia) placed fourth (1.76m, 5-09.25).
“After a suspect start on Saturday the team once again made Sunday their day. Three championships in Victoria and Natasha led the weekend,” stated Morgan. “Every event became significant as Emerson, Mania and the relays defined the day. A great accomplishment as we prepare for nationals in two weeks.”
The Connecticut veterans continued to lead the squad as All-Americans Brigitte Mania (Flemington, N.J.) and Celina Emerson (Newark, Del.) each reached the podium. Mania captured second in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:05.63. Emerson crossed the finish line in 53.12 for third in the 400 meter dash. Also, earning points for the Huskies was senior Shauna McNiff (Hingham, Mass.) finishing sixth (16:32.67) in the 5,000 meter run.
UConn’s relay teams totaled 14 points for the Huskies on Sunday with the 4x400m and 4x800m squads each claimed third place. The 4x800 meter relay team (Laura Williamson, Terra Briody, Julia Zrinyi, Katherine Vodopia) crossed the finish line in 8:52.65, while the 4x400m squad (Emerson, Deysha Smith-Jenkins, Tiffany Daley, Paris Taft) had a time of 3:37.61, a new school record. Brianna Allen, Emerson, Cornietta Anderson and Sarah Bowens teamed up to finish seventh (46.18) in the 4x100 meter relay.
After finishing third in the heptathlon last weekend at the BIG EAST Championships Saija Bikanova (Madonas, Latvia) did it again capturing the ECAC bronze with 5,012 points.
The Huskies are off until the three-day NCAA East Regionals which begin on Thursday, May 23 in Greensboro, N.C.