By Tory Igoe, news staff
On the tail of last week’s strong finishes at Harvard University and Boston University (BU), the Northeastern University men’s and women’s track and field teams kept hitting Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) qualifying numbers at the David Hemery Invitational at BU last Friday and Saturday. At the meet, Husky athletes not only demonstrated physical prowess in competition, but a sense of family on the sidelines.
“The bond that the athletes have with each other is exceptionally strong,” said head coach Cathrine Erickson. “It has actually been strengthened by the number of successful performances each week. When Paul Duffey broke the four minute barrier on Saturday, it was truly a program win. The team was ecstatic to see their captain do so well.”
The team not only recognizes individual successes, but the holistic success of the program. Each competitor feeds off the highs of their teammates, creating a dominant, cohesive unit. As New England Championships rapidly approach, the Huskies find themselves in the midst of preparation.
Erickson was optimistic about the Huskies’ chances at championship meets.
“The team is prepping well,” Erickson said. “The coaching staff is doing a good job getting the kids ready and we are looking forward to not only New England but the IC4A/ECAC Championships, which also has a deeply rooted place in the history of our sport and our team.”
At the invitational, several athletes on both the men’s and women’s teams set personal bests.
For the women’s team, sophomore Patrice Williams placed third on Northeastern’s All Time List for the 400 meter, finishing with a time of 54.47 seconds. This brought her a fourth place finish. Sophomores Amy Piccolo and Katy Hanlon qualified for the ECAC and New England Championships alongside her.
For the men’s team, senior Paul Duffey clocked in with a 3:59 mile time, coming in second place to Guillaume Adam, who runs with Boston Athletic Association. Duffey is now on the top 20 NCAA qualifiers list. Sophomores Marc Reinas and Chris Jewett and freshman Cam Kunde also qualified for the ECAC and New England Championships – Reinas in the 800 meter with a time of 1:52, Jewett in the mile with a time of 4:07.94 and Kunde in the 400 meter with a time of 48.38 seconds.
Junior Ryan Kim also gave a noteworthy performance, finishing second with a season-best, qualifying for the championships with a throws distance of 17.15 meters.
Looking onward to next week, the Huskies will compete at Harvard this Sunday in the USA Track & Field National Championships. With so many athletes already posting championship qualifying times, the Huskies have clear determination to succeed in the last invitational before the New England Championships on Feb. 24 and 25.
Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics