Dec. 16, 2013
STORRS, Conn. – Head Coach Bill Morgan announced Thursday that a trio of senior veterans were named as captains for the 2013-14 Track and Field campaign. Seniors Brigitte Mania (Flemington, N.J.), Chantal Scott (Raleigh, N.C.) and Brittany Power (Warwick, R.I.) will serve as the appointed leaders on a team fresh off of one of the finest seasons in program history.
“As we approach the Holiday Season and the start of indoor track and field, I am excited to announce team leadership in the naming of captains for the 2013-14 season. This is such a significant and honored position for these team members— they will be called on by both coaching staff and peers to lead by performance and example in upholding the great tradition we enjoy. With such a diverse group, I have always felt that there is one true captain –represented by a composite of the qualities each individual captain brings to the table in representing the team – they are outstanding ambassadors for our program,” noted Coach Morgan.
Senior distance runner Brigitte Mania, a four-time All-American with two nods apiece in both the 800m and the Distance Medley Relay, returns to the track for her fifth year with key experience to lead the Huskies. “Brigitte brings a wealth of experience to the team – with All-American status and the maturity of an elite athlete she adds a level of confidence that is felt by the team,” said assistant coach Amy Begley of the senior standout. “Her leadership is a given, her national level performances expected, her support for team members established.” Mania also led a young UConn cross country squad this fall, posting four top-ten finishes including an third place effort in the American Athletic Conference Championship in November.
Mania’s distinguished career on the Connecticut track includes 4x800 meter relay titles in the New England, ECAC, and BIG EAST Championships. She has qualified for NCAA’s in five of her seven seasons, including a significant role in helping the 2012 cross country team to an eighth place finish at the NCAA Championships last fall. As a result of her success last spring, Mania earned her a spot at the USA Outdoor Championships. In addition to accolades, Mania has stamped her name in the UConn record books as a member on two of UConn’s fastest relay teams. Her 2011 Indoor DMR squad established a new school marker at 10:59.99 as the eighth best time in the country, while the 4x800 meter relay team featuring Mania set a new Connecticut outdoor standard with a time of 8:33.94.
Sprinter/hurdler Chantal Scott earns the captain title after several solid years on the track in Storrs. The senior captured first place at the Brown Invite last season in the 100m hurdles during the outdoor season, competing in that same event at both the ECAC and BIG EAST Championships. On the indoor track last year, Scott posted a personal-best in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.64 seconds to claim sixth place at the ECAC Championships.
“Chantal Scott has grown to be a tremendous leader for this team in her senior year,” added associate head coach Clive Terrelonge. “I saw some of her initial leadership abilities when I started recruiting her in high school and now our team will benefit from that. She is a well-rounded young lady that stands as a role model for the younger athletes on the team. Chantal has faced a lot of adversity over the past three years but her strength and courage never wavers.”
Brittany Power, who also returns as a fifth-year senior, will provide a unique source of leadership for the team. “Her transition from a walk-on student-athlete to a captain certainly demonstrates the growth and maturity she now exhibits,” said Coach Morgan of the Rhode Island native. “Her confidence and demeanor are significant to the team; her vastly improved performances a timely development – both areas applauded by her teammates.”
A horizontal jumper, Power has shown steady improvement during her time as a Husky. In her sophomore campaign in 2010-11, Power placed third at the New England Championships with an 11.87m (38’ 11 ½”) triple jump effort. In both the indoor and outdoor BIG EAST Championships last season, power posted a fifth place finish in the triple jump with 12.25 and 12.23 meter jumps, respectively.
Connecticut will look to these three leaders for another exceptional season to follow last year’s success, when the Huskies claimed eleven All-American titles, won a New England Championship, and captured two ECAC crowns. UConn also posted a pair of runner-up finishes in both the indoor and outdoor BIG EAST Championships while cracking the national rankings to climb as high as No. 23 in the country during the indoor season. The team was ranked No. 1 in the Northeast Region (out of nine regions nationally) for both the indoor and outdoor seasons. As a squad, the women’s track and field program earned USTFCCCA Division I All-Academic Team recognition for maintaining a cumulative grade point average over 3.0. Six individual Huskies were honored as All-Academic Team members, including returning veterans Ana Groff, Brigitte Mania, and Lauren Sara.
The 2013-14 Schedule:
Having been a part of all 45 championship teams (22 as Head Coach) Morgan and his staff of long-time associate head coach Clive Terrelonge along with first-year assistant coach Amy Begley will now compete in the newly formed American Athletic Conference. The Huskies will look to claim the first-ever championship to be held on Feb. 28 in Armory, New York City.
“Our schedule presents a great challenge and will prepare us for two goals: win the conference championship and have great exposure at the national championships,” Coach Morgan explained. “Opening up at the Armory (New York), our considered ‘home’ track, we jump right into the thick of things with national level competition. With the American having our championship in New York we will enjoy the challenges presented in a venue we have great success competing at. Add regional meets in Boston, along with a return to the elite Penn State Open, and our team will have opportunities to improve and fine tune for the championship segment.”
Following the conference championship, UConn will travel to Boston for the ECAC Championships on Mar. 8. With their eighth and ninth consecutive titles last season, UConn has now claimed five of the last six ECAC Championships. From there, the Huskies hope to send a number of participants to the NCAA Championships in Albuquerque, NM beginning on Mar. 14.
“Looking ahead to the spring, five high level ‘relay’ invitationals – Florida State, Raleigh, Tennessee Sea Ray, Mt. Sac and Penn – highlight an exciting and intriguing path to the outdoor segment of our championships. Opportunities for development at the Brown and Princeton invites will keep us in the region while our own UConn Invite will allow us to display our team to those in the community and state,” said Coach Morgan
The Huskies will build up to the first American Outdoor Championships in Tampa, Florida in the beginning of May before seeking another ECAC crown in the middle of the month. UConn will again look to place a number of student-athletes at the NCAA Championships in Oregon come June.