By PJ Wright, news correspondent
With the championship portion of the schedule in full swing, the Northeastern University (NU) men’s and women’s cross country teams trekked to Franklin Park for the second time in three weeks on Saturday to compete in the 2015 New England Championships, hosted by Boston University (BU).
The men’s varsity squad pulled off a seventh-place finish out of 38 teams in the 8,000-meter run with a score of 241 points and an average time of 25:33.
Boston University took home the New England title with just 143 points, their three best finishers all ending up in the top 20.
Senior Nephat Maritim, a transfer student from Harvard University, continued his hot surge on Saturday, leading the Huskies in the 8,000-meter run with a 25:06.6 finish. That time was good enough for 14th place, earning him the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Runner of the Week award – his second in a row.
Junior Paul Duffey and freshman Michael Potter finished in 48th and 49th place, respectively, coming in at 25:35.4 and 25:35.7. The race was Duffey’s first of the season.
“It was great to see Paul contribute in the varsity race. He makes our team stronger,” Head Coach Cathrine Erickson said in an email to The News. “Paul is a hard worker. He believes in what the coaching staff is asking of him, and it shows in his performance.”
On the women’s side, Northeastern finished 18th overall out of 39 teams in the 5,000-meter run with an average time of 18:55.
Boston College (BC) won the New England title handily, as the first, second and fourth-place runners to cross the finish line all wore maroon and gold.
The third-place runner stuck in the middle of the BC swarm was Northeastern junior Jordan O’Dea.
O’Dea dazzled for the Huskies, coming in at 17:44.3 – an average mile-split of 5:42.5. This season, she has cemented herself as one of the top 5K runners in the region. Like her male counterpart, Maritim, she also earned CAA Runner of the Week honors.
O’Dea ranks fifth all-time in the outdoor 5,000-meter run at Northeastern, and according to Erickson, as a junior, she is beginning to get comfortable leading this young women’s squad.
“Jordan is really settling into leading the pack,” Erickson said. “It is nice to see her do so well.”
Sophomore Brooke Wojeski came in 78th place at 18:53.3, followed by freshman Elizabeth Harrington in 98th, crossing the finish line at 19:09.7.
Erickson said that the team’s focus over the next couple of weeks will primarily be to stay healthy.
“Getting recovered is the most important thing at this point,” she said.
The Huskies’ next challenge will be a mini-meet on Oct. 23 at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn. The race will take place at 4 p.m. at the Stanley Quarter Park.
Online results for the New England Championships can be found here.
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics