By Jake Sauberman, news correspondent

The Northeastern University (NU) women’s and men’s cross country teams got off to slow starts Friday, placing 9th and 14th respectively in the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown. The meet, hosted by Boston College, featured top running colleges from around the northeastern region.

The women’s team fared well in their 5K event, finishing ninth out of the 13 schools that competed. Young finished at 18:32 and placed 40th overall. She was followed by fellow senior Jordan O’Dea (47th, 18:41), freshman Louiza Wise (48th, 18:46), junior Brooke Wojeski (52nd, 18:55), freshman Amanda Hickey (65th, 19:15), sophomore Elizabeth Harrington (67th, 19:16), junior Danielle Voke (84th, 20:00), sophomore Camila Cortina (88th, 20:24) and junior Madeline Bradford (88th, 20:33).

No matter the results, Erickson said she views each meet as an important chance to grow and improve before the stakes get higher in the fall.

The Huskies’ men’s team ran the 8K race and wound up with an aggregate score of 401, finishing in 14th place overall out of 15 teams. Despite seemingly shaky results, head coach Cathrine Erickson said she was was unconcerned and optimistic, partially due to the fact that many regulars did not run.

“Being the first meet of the season, I feel like the athletes performed as expected,” she said. “We decided to hold on running our top seven runners on the men’s side as we prepare for the Roy Griak meet next weekend in Minnesota, so I was pleased with how the squad represented the program.”

Senior Craig Hammond led the way for the men’s team, running at 26 minutes, 14 seconds – a new personal best – and placing 58th overall. He was followed by freshman Cameron Dickson (78th, 26:42), sophomore Dan Paiva (80th, 26:45), sophomore Scott McCluskey (91st, 27:03), junior Daniel Condon (94th, 27:11), freshman Luke Novak (102nd, 27:57) and freshman Jackson Neri (105th, 28:51).

“Craig Hammond had a good race and clocked a personal best time on the Franklin Park course, which is a good indication of improvements for the program,” Erickson said. “On the women’s side, it is nice to see [senior] Lucy Young back with us this year, and the addition of freshman Louisa Wise will significantly add and impact the success […] throughout the season.”

“All of our meets prepare the program in different ways for the championship season at the end of October,” she said. “Whether it is distance, hilly or flat, or getting into races that have the head to head competition that we are looking for at the time.”

Running in the northeast region will provide Northeastern with ample opportunities for fierce competition and Erickson feels confident that the Huskies can keep up with the rest of the pack.

The expectations will be higher when the Huskies are at full strength this weekend, as Northeastern prepares to head west to Minnesota for the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 24.

Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics.