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Spring 2014 Newsletter Coaching Staff

Table of Contents

In This Issue: Greg Roy Head Coach 29th Season

Rich Miller Associate Head Coach 19th Season

From Coach Roy’s Desk.................................... 2 Regular Season Highlights .............................. 3 The American: UConn on Top! ...................4-5 A.J. Chavez at NCAA’s ...................................... 6 2014 Indoor Performance List ........................ 7

Renny Waldron

2014 Outdoor Schedule .................................... 9

Assistant Coach/Cross Country Coach First Season

Interview With Derek Yush ‘97 ..................... 10 Memories from Alumns.....................................11

Kevin Smith Assistant Coach First Season

Catching Up With Dan Wilson ‘02...............12 Remembering Carl Fetterolf, Jr. ...................13

2014 American Athletic Conference Indoor Staff of the Year The University of Connecticut • Storrs, Connecticut • 06269 •


April 2014 Newsletter

From The Desk Of:

Coach Roy Dear Alumni and Friends, The win in the inaugural AAC Indoor Track and Field Championships was a thrill for me personally. The kids competed in tradi onal UConn fashion, coming in as 20 point underdogs and leaving with a 35 point win! This win, combined with capturing the last Big East Indoor and Outdoor Championships, has to rank as one of the highlights of my career. With only another 20 or 30 years before I re re, it’ll be hard to top that. Outdoor track and field season, as we all know, has a life of its own. You try not to get too down when it snows on meet day or too high when a kid PR’s in Georgia. Just stay the course and be ready to compete on the day(s)! Hope to see you all along the way the way—great to see Timmy Bennatan ’13 show up at Spec Towns in Georgia and Dave Hartman ’92 at Disney Relays in Florida! Best to all of you!



The University of Connecticut • Storrs, Connecticut • 06269 •

April 2014 Newsletter

Regular Season Highlights UNBEATEN!! That pre y much says it all. A program that graduated 18 seniors the previous year and relied on freshman and sophomores to come through when it counted went the regular season unscathed! As always, the Huskies took on anyone, anywhere, any me in scoring meets, star ng with ne lesome Albany in their own Great Dane Classic at the Armory. The meet came down to the shot put and the 4x4, with both Buffalo and Albany having a shot to knock off the “guys from Storrs”. Eric Masington placed 3rd in the shot and a 4x4 boas ng 2 frosh, a soph (anchorman Rob Rhodes) and grizzled veteran Kyle Twombly were able to seal the deal for a narrow 6 point win as UConn scored 119.33 points while Buffalo scored 113.5. Two weeks later, the Huskies traveled to Kingston, RI for the URI Senior Tribute Invita onal. That meet grew in significance as the new date for our Conference Championship precluded UCONN from compe ng in the New England Championship, a meet that they have won 8 mes in an row. The Huskies showed signs of what was to come as they dominated the meet with a 220 to 98.75 win over Rhody and a field of eight other teams. The final team scoring meet came at the Sykes & Sabock Challenge Cup, now a 2 day meet hosted by Penn St, the Na on’s 7th ranked team. The Huskies ba led throughout, grabbing a 20 point lead at one point before hanging on for a narrow 3.5 point win over the host team. This meet showcased both quality and depth for the young Huskies. How far they had come was illustrated by the fact they had beaten Buffalo by six points in January and at the Sykes and Sabock meet by 64.5.

The University of Connecticut • Storrs, Connecticut • 06269 •



UConn Posts 158 Points To Win the First-Ever AAC Indoor Championship! New York, N.Y.- The University of Connec cut Men’s Track and Field Team won the inaugural American Athle c Conference Championship at the 168th Street Armory Track and Field Center. The squad finished with 158 points to earn the win, bes ng second-place Louisville (123 points) and Houston (116 points). The UConn coaching staff of Greg Roy, Rich Miller, Renny Waldron and Kevin Smith were honored as the American Athle c Conference Coaching Staff of the Year. The Huskies won a pair of events en route to the championship win, claiming the 4x400 meter relay and owning the mile run. The 4x400 team finished in 3:14.23 to seal the win in the final compe on of the day, while Mike O’Donnell’s gold medal in the mile run started off the final day of the meet. O’Donnell finished in 4:13.21 to own the top of the podium while Nick Bertoline earned third and Bryan Fowler earned fourth place. Connec cut posted a quartet of second-place finishes in the 200 meter dash, the shot put, the 35 lb. weight throw and the heptathlon to contribute to the scoring. Darnell Cummings paced UConn in the 200 meter, grabbing second place in a me of 21.10. Cummings would go on to earn a bronze medal in the 60 meter dash as the lone Husky to qualify for the finals in that event. Patrick Hayes finished the 200 meter in 21.74 to grab fi h place and Chinedu Amonu added a sixth place effort. Amonu made big contribu ons in the 400 meter run with a third place finish in 48.22. The Huskies went 3-4-5 in the 400, with Kyle Twombly and Robert Hovanec accoun ng for the fourth and fi h place finishes, respec vely. On the track, Eric Masington and Oluwatosin Edwards provided the other two second-place finishes for UConn. Eric Masington grabbed the silver with a launch of 17.30M in the shot put while Oluwatosin Edwards earned his second place finish on 17.80M toss. The UConn men placed four athletes in the 800 meter run, sweeping third place through sixth place. AJ Chavez lead the UConn effort with a third place finish in 1:51.93. Robert Rhodes , Paul DeSalvo ,and Philip Caldwell added the consecu ve finishes. UConn’s heptathletes put forth an excep onal showing, with Kris Horn claiming second place by earning 5,266 points. Patrick Meyer grabbed fourth with 4,927 and Sean Walsh took fi h with 4,848. Sam Smith rounded out the effort with a seventh place finish. “This was a tremendous team win,” said Head Coach Greg Roy. “While we only won the mile and the 4x400 meter relay, 27 of the 32 athletes we entered scored. We started Day Two with a monster performance by the milers, with Mike O’Donnell upse ng the field for the win. Throughout the day the heptathletes kept chopping away, leading to a huge 19 point haul that put us ahead for good. A lot of kids sacrificed individual goals to contribute in mul ple events. For example, Robert Rhodes and Chinedu Amonu ran three events each. Every member of our team right down to some of the non-scorers- was invaluable.” 4

The University of Connecticut • Storrs, Connecticut • 06269 •

UCONN FINISHES AT THE AAC CHAMPIONSHIP American Athletic Championships New York City, N.Y. February 28, 2014 - March 1, 2014 First Place 60 Meter Dash 3. Darnell Cummings 200 Meter Dash 2. Darnell Cummings 5. Patrick Hayes 6. Chinedu Amonu 400 Meter Run 3. Chinedu Amonu 4. Kyle Twombly 5. Robert Hovanec

6.79 21.10 21.74 21.76 48.22 48.73 48.76

800 Meter Run 3. Alvaro Chavez 4. Robert Rhodes 5. Paul DeSalvo 6. Philip Caldwell

1:51.13 1:52.88 1:53.74 1:53.81

Mile Run 1. Mike O’Donnell 3. Nick Bertolini 4. Bryan Fowler

4:13.21 4:13.60 4:13.62

3000 Meter Run 6. Bryan Fowler 9. David Cotton 12. Mike O’Donnell

8:22.82 8:25.65 8:30.83

5000 Meter Run 11. David Cotton


60 Meter Hurdles 6. Randall Wall


4x400 Meter Relay 4. Connecticut

Distance Medley Relay 3. Connecticut


High Jump 5. Toby Belton 5. Demario Gray

2.05M 2.05M

Pole Vault 3. Craig Hunter 4. Cory Duggan 7. Tim Murphy 11. Connor Grunwald

5.10M 5.10M 4.80M 4.80M

Long Jump 10. Harley Lacroix 15. Amanze Williams

7.00M 6.55M

Triple Jump 4. Harley Lacroix 7. Amanze Williams 10. Treval Hatcher

15.17M 14.87M 14.27M

Shot Put 2. Eric Masington


Weight Throw 2. Oluwatosin Edwards


Heptathlon 2. Kris Horn 4. Patrick Meyer 5. Sean Walsh 7. Sam Smith

5,266 4,927 4,848 4,841


The University of Connecticut • Storrs, Connecticut • 06269 •



Alvaro ‘A.J.’ Chavez Sophomore • Mid-Distance West Windsor, N.J. When UConn went down to Penn State in early February to take on the #7 Ni any Lions at the very compe ve Sykes and Sabock Challenge Cup, the Huskies came in ready to compete at the highest level. There were many great performances had by the Huskies during the twoday meet, but perhaps the most impressive was sophomore AJ Chavez’s performance in the 800. Chavez came into the meet with a personal best of 1:50.60, and sha ered that mark by almost three seconds, 1:47.95! Chavez’s me was good for the 3rd best mark in the country and qualified him for the NCAA Championships. At the NCAA Championships, Chavez placed 9th, running 1:50.83 in a sit and kick race. Coach Roy remarked “A.J. Chavez has run faster than anyone we’ve ever had at his stage in his career. He was a heartbeat away from the final and really overcame tremendous adversity all year long to reach the sport’s largest stage.”


The University of Connecticut • Storrs, Connecticut • 06269 •

2014 INDOOR TOP TIMES Mile Run 4:13.21

Michael O’Donnell

60 Meter Dash 6.79 Darnell Cummings 200 Meter Dash 21.10 Darnell Cummings 400 Meter Run 47.78 Kyle Twombly

4x400 M Relay 3:10.52 Amonu, Twombly, Hovanec, Rhodes 4x800M Relay 7:48.58 Chavez, Caldwell, O’Donnell, Levine 60 Meter Hurdles 8.24 Randall Wall

500 Meter Run 1:03.11 Robert Rhodes

High Jump 2.05M yer

600 Meter Run 1:17.36 Robert Rhodes

Long Jump 7.00 M

Harley Lacrox

800 Meter Run 1:47.96

AJ Chavez

Triple Jump 15.23M

Harley Lacroix

AJ Chavez

Pole Vault 5.11 M

1,000M 2:25.57 3,000M 8:18.19

Bryan Fowler

Shot Put 17.30M

Toby Belton

Craig Hunter Eric Masington

5000 Meter Run 14:40.81 Bryan Fowler

Weight Throw 19.03M Oluwatosin Edwards

DMR 9:54.20 Chavez, Twombly, Rhodes, O’Donnell

Hepthalon 5,266

Kris Horn

The University of Connecticut • Storrs, Connecticut • 06269 •


2014 Outdoor Schedule MARCH 23 Walt Disney World Open (Orlando, Fla.) 29 UCONN Spring Invite (Storrs, Conn.) APRIL 3-4 UConn Decathlon (Storrs, Conn.) 5 Dog Fight (Albany, N.Y.) 11-12 Specs Town Invitational (Athens, Ga.) 12 Brown Invitational (Providence, R.I.) 18 Larry Ellis Invitational (Princeton, N.J.) 19 UCONN N.E. Challenge (Storrs, Conn.) 25-26 Penn Relays (Philadelphia, Pa.) 26 UNH/UMass (Durham, N.H.) MAY 2-4 8-10 16-18 30-31

American Championships (Tampa, Fla.) New England Champ. (Westford, Ma.) IC4A Championships (Princeton, N.J.) NCAA East Regional (Jacksonville, Fla.)

JUNE 11-14 NCAA Championships (Eugene, Ore.) 8

Home Meets in Bold



naƟve of Enfield, ConnecƟcut, Derek Yush came to UConn as an undergraduate in the fall of 1993. A hard worker and a disciplined athlete, Yush was a consistent scorer for the Huskies. As a captain his senior year, Yush led the Huskies to Big East and New England Championships. Shortly aŌer compleƟng his undergraduate degree, Yush became the assistant sprints, jumps and throw coach Eastern ConnecƟcut State University. He was named the ECSU Head Men’s and Women’s coach in 1998.

1) What a racted you to the University of Connec cut as an undergrad? I had narrowed down my college search to four ins tu ons but it was the sense of comfort and belonging at the University of Connec cut that grabbed my a en on. I vividly remember visi ng campus for my first me and my mother asked a student where we could find McMahon Hall. The student put her arm around my mom and walked us to the building. This really stood out to me in contrast to my experiences on the other campuses that I had visited. From that moment, I felt that UConn was the right environment and fit for me to con nue my growth as a student-athlete.

In 2001, Yush became the men’s throws, jumps and mulƟ-events coach at University of Rhode Island. URI enjoyed tremendous success under Yush’s guidance, as he helped lead the squad to 11 AtlanƟc-10 Conference Ɵtles, including five indoor and six outdoor crowns. In 2007, Yush was named the assistant coach in charge of the throwing events at Louisiana State University. At LSU, Coach Yush has coached several school record holders and SEC Champions. 13 athletes have earned All-America honors, and in 2011 he coached Walter Henning to an NCAA Championship in the weight throw.

athletes on a daily basis. One is the concept of accountability to your team which my coaches clearly defined as “Be where you are supposed to be, when you are supposed to be there, doing what you are supposed to be doing”. Also, the concept of a championship performance as either a personal best or an outright win on the day of the Championship meet. I am thankful to be a product of the coaches at UConn because I learned these types of principles that I have realized are cri cal to success in the development of student-athletes. Compe tors compete, champions rise!

4) What advice would you give to student-athletes at UConn? Be more than just a student and an athlete. There are other ways to 2) What is your most meaningful memory as a member of the UConn team? During my junior season, I had the honor of compe ng personally grow and develop in the college environment. At UConn, I took advantage of the opportunity to be ac ve in Captain’s Council for a UConn track and field team that le everything on the track in the 1996 Big East Indoor Championship. The meet came down to the (which I believe is now referred to as SAAC). I also volunteered for service projects and I felt it was important to give back to the very 4x400 meter relay and we did exactly what we needed to do to pull community that supported me as a student-athlete. And don’t forget off the win. Celebra on ensued un l twenty minutes later when an to reward yourself every now and then with a trip to my favorite placannouncement was made that another team had been disqualified es at UConn – the Dairy Bar and Willington Pizza. from the final event so Georgetown defeated UConn by a margin of 133 to 132.5. Tears of joy instantly turned to frustra on and upset. The disappointment led me to reevaluate my role on the team and 5) Do you have any wise words for all the young student-athletes who aspire to one day be track and field coaches? I would tell young as a non-scorer during that par cular meet, I felt personally responsible to make sure that I never let my team down again. This incident student-athletes who aspire to be a coach to always con nue the fueled me to be a contributor and I was so driven that I scored points learning process. I quickly realized that as a track and field coach, you in the next three Big East Championships. I grew as a compe tor from will have the opportunity on a daily basis to embrace new ideas and alterna ve methods. I believe it is important to con nually reevalthat experience and I’m proud to say that we redeemed ourselves uate and challenge your own ideas on strength training, technique, with an undisputed victory in the 1997 Big East Indoor Championperiodiza on and mo va on to ensure that you are building the best ships. model for the development of your student-athletes. The educa on process can be informal (such as through networking and casual 3) You have had a very successful coaching career-- how did your me at UConn affect your coaching style and philosophy? I learned conversa ons with colleagues and athletes) or more formal such as a ending coaching educa on events facilitated by USTFCCCA, USATF many valuable lessons during my me as a Husky that I have passed or NSCA. I am forever grateful to all of the coaches who have menon to my athletes throughout my 17 years in the coaching profestored me over the years and I’m more than willing to give advice to sion. Two things in par cular come to mind that I learned from the coaching staff at UConn and these are concepts that I ins ll in my any student-athlete who contacts me for assistance. ◊

“Competitors Compete, Champions Rise!”


Memories From Alumni Back in the fall, we asked alumni to share some great memories. We are hoping to make this secƟon a mainstay in our newsleƩers, so please share your stories with us! (Email Coach Waldron at )

From Chris Malm, class of 1993 (and school record holder in the 3000 steeplechase):



This must have been in 1992, one early Sunday morning… I convinced a few of the guys to join me on a long run, Gary Giffen, Dave Galloway, Mark Militello, Bryan Place and a few others, I don’t recall all. I told them I had this great new run, it was about 15-16 miles. Or so I thought. I had drawn the route on a piece of paper, from the map in a phone book. I now know these are not to scale in the US. We ran for some me, and none of us had any breakfast. Going up the hill on Ashford Center Road, we passed by the Ward cemetery, which at the me looked like it was in the middle of nowhere. “Who the hell would die out here?” I asked. From the back I can hear Bryan Place “I would!” a er about 1h 45 min, we came back to the bridge over Mt Hope River on Warrenville Rd, and realized we had another 45 min to run. Gary was not happy. We must have done sub 6 min all the way back, going up Gurleyville Rd (if you have not run that hill, please do ; from Warrenville Rd, up Mt Hope Rd, down to Gurleyille and then up to Storrs). We finished in 2h 30 min, and later measured it to 24.5 miles. With no breakfast! It was named Death Run, and was never run again.

. . . From Tim Bowler, Class of 1966:



I remember running at the old Boston Garden my senior year in 1966. Many of the teams would come to Boston and reserve at room at the Hotel Madison to change there, since the Garden was adjacent to it. We only had a few runners entered and we drove via a car or two to Boston with our coach. Upon ge ng there, the coach gave us some meal money. One of our more street savvy guys was told by our coach to knock on a certain door inside the Boston Garden. We had to bribe the custodian of this room with some money. The room was directly off the arena to change our clothes and shower a erwards. Upon entering the room, it was fairly small and I remember only perhaps one shower. On the small chalkboard were diagrammed plays for late Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia 76ers. Must have been the visitors’ team room when they were playing the Cel cs at the Garden. In those days smoking was permi ed within sports venues. Near the end of one of the featured races for the evening, the announcer would indicate to please ex nguish your cigare es in deference the runners. By that me, a blue/gray haze would be hanging in the upper er of the Garden. It was a joke to try to enforce anything at that me. Memories...... 10

The University of Connecticut • Storrs, Connecticut • 06269 •

Catching Up With Daniel Wilson ‘02 Daniel Wilson entered UConn in the fall of 1998 and experienced success as a Husky from the start, winning the Big East Championship in the mile in the indoor season of his freshman year. Wilson was a key part of several Big East Championship winning teams and was honored as an All-American five Ɵmes. To this day, Wilson owns UConn’s school records in the mile (4:01) and 1500 (3:39) and anchored the school record distance medley team that ran 9:33. AŌer college, Wilson was sponsored by ASICS and had an impressive professional career. Wilson represented the United States at the world cross country championships and lowered his track PR’s to 3:38 in the 1500 and 7:53 in the 3000.

1) In High School you were a pre y accomplished runner-running 9:05 in the 2 mile and winning several Connec cut State Championships-- but you kind of fell under the radar due to being injured fall of your senior year. Thinking back to that me, what were some of the factors that led you to choose to come to UConn? Although I may have been recruited a li le more had I not go en injured, I did s ll have a number of schools calling. What drew me to UConn were the rela onships the guys on the team had with one another. At other schools I felt like everybody was in it for other reasons, but at UConn I sensed an incredibly strong bond. This was reinforced during my me on campus. I knew distance guys on other teams who barely knew their field event guys and sprinters. Meanwhile I lived with a pole vaulter, a mul guy, a high jumper and a 400 meter runner during my me in Storrs. I just think the coaches did an excellent job of ge ng everybody on the same page and compe ng towards a common goal and it just showed, even when I was a recruit. More so than any team that I'm aware of, we were like one big family. 2) What is the most cherished memory of your me at UConn? Tough call. As an athlete, winning the Penn Relays Distance Medley Relay is definitely something that I cherish, but I think the two Big East tles that we won as a team in 2002 were equally as exci ng. I really loved being able to share that excitement with the en re team as well as all the alums who came back to support us. As a regular college kid it was definitely when the basketball team won the na onal tle in 99. Being a part of something that big is an indescribable feeling, even now 15 years later. Luckily we've been able to win three mes since then so other genera ons have been able to share these moments.

compe ve distance runners during your me in school; one year I think their were 12 All-Americans in the Big East Cross Country Championship! How did those compe ve experiences at the conference championships help you at NCAA's and in your running career a er college? You're right, the Big East was incredibly deep during my career. In 2000 we placed four in the top nine at NCAA XC! That being said, it wasn't much different from my experience at UConn. I came in thinking I'd be figh ng for the top spot on the team and was immediately put in my place. I couldn't even do training runs with our best guys! At the end of the day, being on a such a compe ve team in an amazing conference taught me how to work for what I wanted. It was the same throughout my running career and in my post athle c career- there are always going to be other talented and hard working people out there. Reaching my goals and aiming to be the best at what I do requires a huge drive to succeed and tons of hard work. 4) How do you feel your experiences at UConn have helped shape who you are today? It's impossible to know me and not know that I'm a UConn guy because I love the University and our teams so much. I'm not sure how it shaped who I am today, but I'll say this- if I were going to go back in me and choose a school to run for and a coaching staff to run for, knowing what I know now, I'd choose UConn every me. 5) What would your advice be to someone who is an upand-coming track and field athlete? Work hard, seek knowledge and have fun.

6) Last ques on-- we know your wife is a Notre Dame graduate. What steps are you taking to ensure your daughter grows up roo ng for the Huskies? Other than s ll wearing my grays (CT Athle cs gear) three mes a week? I'll probably just let her watch a few Kevin Ollie 3) TheThe Big East was always stacked with extremely interviews, if she's not all in a er that, we have no chance. ◊ 11 University of Connecticut • Storrs, Connecticut • 06269 •


Carlos Fetterolf, Jr. Former School Record Holder Former UConn school record holder Carlos Fe erolf, Jr. , UConn Class of 1950, passed away from complica ons due to a fall on Saturday, March 22, 2014. Carlos was an amazing athlete at UConn, earning All-American honors in soccer and breaking the school record in the dash while serving as the team’s captain. A er gradua ng from Kingswood School in West Har ord, Fe erolf served in the Pacific Theatre as a staff sergeant before entering the University of Connec cut. At UConn, Fe erolf was a three year All-American and Captain of UConn’s 1948 Na onal Champion soccer team. On the track, Carlos captained the team and established school records in the sprints. Fe erolf went on to earn an M.S. from Michigan State University. He was an avid environmentalist; he used his educa on as an aqua c biologist to make his life work the protec on of the Great Lakes. Carlos was re red from the Canada-United States Great Lakes Fishery Commission where he served as Execu ve Secretary from 19751992. Prior to working with the Commission, Carlos was a fishery researcher and manager with the Tennessee Game and Fish Commission, the Chief of Water Quality Appraisal for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the Michigan DNR's Chief Environmental Scien st. On leave to the U.S. Na onal Academy of Sciences, he served as science coordinator in development of Water Quality Criteria. Carlos received awards for his career contribu ons to natural resources from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the Interna onal Associa on for Great Lakes Research, and both of his alma maters. Carlos was recently inducted into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. A er re rement, he was appointed to the U.S. Na onal Sea Grant Review Panel, did contract work for the Commission, the World Bank in Kenya, and others. His greatest pleasure a er re rement was spending me with family and friends. He con nued to share his vast knowledge and exper se by volunteering with environmental causes, such as Trout Unlimited. Carlos' enthusiasm for the outdoors was ins lled in his family during treasured me together; whether it was snow skiing, water skiing, snorkeling, fishing, camping, canoeing, or hun ng. Carlos' irrepressible zest for life and sense of humor was contagious! He made a difference; personally and professionally! 12

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UConn Men's Track and Field Newsletter  
UConn Men's Track and Field Newsletter  

UConn Men's Track and Field Newsletter