By P.J. Wright, news staff

The Northeastern University (NU) men’s and women’s track programs took to Houston for the Rice University Lopez Classic over the weekend in their outdoor season debut.

Juniors Kyle Darrow and Kwame Fordwor swept the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) men’s weekly honors, the league announced Tuesday as Men’s Field Athlete of the Week and Men’s Track Athlete of the Week, respectively.

Darrow broke the outdoor school record in the long jump, taking gold on Saturday afternoon. The 7.78-meter leap was enough to earn him the No. 3 ranking on the Division I East Outdoor Qualifying list.

“Breaking the record is always a great feeling. It shows that all of the work I put into the sport is paying off,” Darrow said in an email to The News.

But even though he set the record, Darrow isn’t ready to settle.

“Just because I broke the record does not mean I can settle. There is much more room for improvement. I’m going to continue working on sprints and jumps so that I can carry myself past 26 feet. There is still a long way to go before CAA’s and nationals, so I need to take this time to prepare and strengthen my body for when it really matters.”

Fordwor was NU’s top finisher in the 100-meter dash with a 10.96-second finish for 18th place. He, along with Darrow, graduate student Jared Lane and senior Donovan Henry, earned bronze in the 4×400-meter relay.  The group is third on NU’s all-time outdoor performance list.

Freshman Dan Romano also took ninth in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:38.26 as the Huskies’ lone competitor in the event.

Graduate student Nephat Maritim also earned a top-20 spot in the 5000-meter run with a 15:21.76 finish (19th).

On the women’s side, sophomore Brooke Wojeski was the top Huskies performer in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with an 11:09.45 clip, finishing fourth on the afternoon. Her finish puts her sixth on NU’s all-time outdoor performance list.

“The Victor Lopez Classic was a great meet to start the outdoor season,” Wojeski said. “I hope that our team will be able to carry its successes from indoor into the outdoor season and continue to break records and win championships.”

Other top-five performers over the weekend for both sides included sophomore thrower Ryan Kim, placing second in the shot put with a 16.60-meter mark, and senior Nicole Genard, who took home fourth place in the javelin with a distance of 41.55 meters.

After two successful indoor seasons, both outdoor track and field teams have high aspirations going into the 2016 campaign with hopes of titles. The student-athletes realize that while championship season is still far away, the trophy is well within reach for both squads.

“I always expect a lot from the team because I see great athletes in everyone,” Darrow said. “I see another CAA Championship coming this spring and cannot wait to hold up that trophy with the team. After CAAs, I plan to see many of our athletes competing in Jacksonville, Fla. for regionals.”

The Huskies were scheduled to compete at the Florida Relays this upcoming weekend but will no longer be participating. However, distance runner Paul Duffey will compete at the Stanford Invite on April 1. Both team’s next meets will be on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9 when they head to the University of Massachusetts and Auburn University on back-to-back days.

Photo courtesy Colonial Athletic Association