By David Konowitch, news correspondent

For the first time in program history, the Northeastern track and field team competed in the Carolina Classic in Puerto Rico on March 20 and 21. Twenty-one men and 15 women represented the Huskies.

“Other teams who have competed at this meet include Texas A&M, Kansas, Houston, Albany and St. John’s, to name a few,” Director of track and field and cross country Catherine Erickson said in an email to The News. “To be regarded and invited to compete amongst these teams is a great accomplishment for our team members and our program.”

Northeastern, St. John’s University and University of Albany were the Division I programs that competed in the meet, which also included smaller schools and local entrants.

The women netted 16 top-five finishes and three winners, while the men earned 17 top-five finishes and five victories.

The women began their weekend on the track with sophomore hurdler Betsy Garnick taking the third spot in the 100-meter hurdles in 14.77 seconds.

Junior sprinter Camille Gooden crossed the line third in the 400-meter dash in 56.01 seconds.

The Huskies middle-distance and distance runners performed at a high level, earning three first-place finishes and dominating their respective events.

Freshman middle-distance runner Corinne Myers won the 800-meter run in a time of 2:15.19 and was followed by redshirt freshman distance runner Sarah Adler, who placed second at 2:16.23.

Sophomore distance runner Kate Johnstone performed well in the 1,500-meter run, taking home the top spot and a top-three time in NU history with 4:32.95.

The Huskies top showing was in the 3,000-meter run, with a pack of three distance runners taking three of the top-four spots. Sophomore Lucy Young led the way, finishing first in 9:52.91. Sophomore Jordan O’Dea and freshman Kerri Ruffo followed shortly after with times of 10:12.22 and 10:29.31, placing third and fourth, respectively.

“It is always important to have depth and we are very happy with our group [of distance runners],” Erickson said.

The Huskies continued to perform well in the field events. Junior throwers Alexandra Rose and Jenna Serunian each amassed top-finishes in the shot put and hammer throw. Serunian placed second in the shot put with a heave of 12.43 meters, while Rose took fifth in the hammer throw, tossing 44.95 meters.

In the long jump, junior sprinter Nicole Genard took the third spot, leaping 5.35 meters, and Garnick placed fourth at 5.32 meters. Genard also added a fourth-place toss in the javelin throw at 39.98 meters.

Sophomore distance runner Paul Duffey took home first place in his top event, the 800-meter run, with a time of 1:49.37. On Tuesday, Duffey and sophomore sprinter Kyle Darrow were named the CAA men’s track and field athletes of the week. Duffey previously earned the accolade on April 1, 2014, following his 10th-place finish in the 800-meter run at the Raleigh Relays in North Carolina.

Freshman distance runner Christian Stafford led the charge as three Huskies took the top-three spots in the 1,500-meter race. Stafford finished in 3:55.25 and was shortly followed by senior distance runner Stephen Sollowin and freshman middle-distance runner James Navin at 4:01.06 and 4:02.42, respectively.

The Huskies excelled in the field events as well, taking the top spot in three events.

Darrow won the long jump with a leap of 7.51 meters. This jump earned him his first CAA Athlete of the Week honor.

“Both [Darrow] and [Duffey] continue to show up at every competition,” Erickson said. “We feel as though they both booked a seat on the plane to the first round of NCAA in Jacksonville today.”

Redshirt senior thrower Kevin Rosenberg had an outstanding weekend, placing first in the shot put at 15.46 meters and setting a personal best in the discus at 47.31 meters, good for second place.

Redshirt senior thrower Christopher Reider competed in his first event of the season, throwing the javelin 59.56 meters for the win.

“It is great to be able to finish strong. I am also equally impressed with the win by Chris Reider in the javelin, the top-three Northeastern all-time performance of Kate Johnstone in the 1,500-meter and the finish of Jared Lane and Jordan Samuels in the hurdles,” Erickson said. “Additionally, our men’s 4×100-meter had a very impressive time and is second in NU history. They should prove to be a good group to watch.”

The team returned stateside to prepare for the Tufts Snowflake Invitational on Saturday, March 28 in Medford.

Photo by Thom Kendall, photo courtesy Northeastern Athletics