“The athletes are in great spirits and very focused,” said head coach Cathrine Erickson, Northeastern’s director of cross country and track and field. “I think we have seen a shift in where the distance program is and some real neat things can happen this weekend.”
The Huskies will compete in the men’s 8K and women’s 6K at the CAA championship, which will be held at Oregon Ridge Park in Maryland and hosted by Towson University. Erickson expects sophomore Wesley Gallagher, who has led the men’s team in every meet this year, to contend for the individual men’s title.
Erickson knows the competition will be fierce—particularly from The College of William & Mary, which will vie for its 14th straight men’s CAA championship this year. But she’s confident the men’s squad will at least challenge the Tribe for the top overall spot.
Earlier this month, Northeastern kicked off the postseason with strong results at the New England Championships. The men’s team finished second overall, the squad’s best performance at that meet since the mid-1980s.
Gallagher led the charge, finishing third overall with a time of 24:17. For his efforts, he was named the CAA Cross Country Runner of the Week on Oct. 15.
“Wes has done everything right,” Erickson noted. “He has stayed healthy, he takes care of himself, and he is training well. He is an incredible competitor.”
Freshman Lucy Young set the pace for the Northeastern women, finishing in 16th place with a personal best of 17.58 in the 5K. Jocelyn Hubbard also achieved a personal best with a time of 18:43.
Erickson expects Young, Hubbard, and freshman Jordan O’Dea to perform well on Saturday. Other runners on the men’s team who could have an impact this weekend include juniors Stephen Sollowin, Charles Conway, and Zachary Fraielli, and sophomore Zachary Krause.
Erickson just completed her first year at the helm of the cross country and track and field program after spending five years as an associate head coach at Harvard. The program’s coaches and student-athletes, she said, have quickly formed a strong partnership, with a particular emphasis on winning.
“I really think we’re going to be successful because everyone is buying into what we are trying to do,” Erickson said.