By Bailey Knecht, sports editor

The Northeastern University (NU) men’s and women’s cross country teams both had strong showings at their first meet of the season on Saturday.

NU travelled to Smithfield, R.I. to compete in the Nassaney Invitational hosted by Bryant University, coming home with a pair of fourth-place team finishes. Although the teams could not match their first-place results at last year’s meet, the runners showed some promise for the upcoming season.

In just their first collegiate 5k, the newcomers to the cross country team have already proven to be strong competitors. Freshman Dan Romano raced to a team-best 11th place out of 99 runners, finishing in just 15:17. Sacred Heart University’s Sean Ferguson finished first overall with a time of 14:50. Freshmen Michael Potter and Bobby Dunn came in 24th and 30th place, respectively, to contribute to Northeastern’s 108 total points.

On the women’s side, freshmen Liz Harrington, Edlyn Gulama and Cortina Camila all finished in the top 30 to help the women to 125 total points.

Northeastern’s veteran runners also put on impressive performances. Sophomore Christian Stafford finished four seconds after Romano to earn 14th place, while sophomore Dan Condon posted a 29th-place finish.

Junior Jordan O’Dea finished in eighth place in 17:55 for the women. Her standing dropped from last year’s Nassaney Invitational where she finished first with a time of 17:53. Providence College’s Catarina Rocha took home the first-place time with a 16:48 finish.

Providence swept the men’s and women’s races. In the men’s race, Brown University took home second, while Sacred Heart placed second for the women. Boston University earned third overall in both races.

In recognition of his notable debut, Romano was named Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week.

Next up, Northeastern will compete in the Battle of Beantown on Sept. 25 at Franklin Park in Boston.

Photo by Zack Williamson, Northeastern Athletics.