Hopes are high for the Husky har­riers this weekend, when the North­eastern Uni­ver­sity men’s and women’s cross country teams will com­pete in the Colo­nial Ath­letic Asso­ci­a­tion championships.

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.