Sep 6, 2013
STORRS, Conn.- The University of Connecticut women’s cross country team will begin the 2013 campaign on Saturday when they race at Bryant’s Shawn M. Nassaney Memorial Race in Smithfield, R.I. The Huskies are under new leadership for the 2013 season with first-year head coach Amy Yoder Begley at the helm. Begley will be guiding nine returning runners from last year’s record setting season.
UConn had a historical 2012 season where the Huskies reached their first NCAA Championships and finished eighth in the nation with three runners finishing in the top 75. Connecticut has nine Huskies returning from the 2012 lineup, including seniors Lauren Sara and Brigitte Mania.
Sara has been a constant force for the Huskies since her first day of competition donning the Connecticut uniform. The Stratford, Conn. native was the second to cross the finish line in last year’s NCAA Championships as she finished 66th out of 253 runners with a 20:30.3. A leader for the Huskies, Sara finished second overall at the 2012 opener which earned her the Big East Athlete of the Week honor. She did not slow down there continuing to be a top-five finisher in the record-setting season.
The second senior leader of the group is Brigitte Mania, an experienced distance runner who has made her mark in both cross country and track and field for the Huskies. A four-time All-American, she will continue her role with the cross country team and look to assist Connecticut in returning to the NCAAs.
“We are looking forward to a great year of progress with a young team,” Begley stated. “We have seven underclassmen that will continue to gain experience and grow on the team.”
Connecticut’s seven other returners include one junior and six sophomores with Terra Briody, Laura Williamson, Katherine Vodopia, Abby Mace, Emily Howard, Emily Durgin and Lily D’Agostino. The Huskies welcome one newcomer in Maggie Christe from Brookfield, Conn.