Louiza Wise highlights the importance of balance as an NU student athlete


Photo courtesy Tom Connelly

Wise set multiple personal bests this season en route All-CAA honors at the CAA Championship.

Leah Cussen, news correspondent

Life is all about balance, and for runner Louiza Wise, this motto proves even more true. 

Wise ran a personal best time of 20:54.9 in the women’s 6k at the CAA championships Nov. 2, finishing sixth place in the race and running the second-fastest time in Northeastern women’s cross country history. 

Wise is now the captain of both the women’s cross country and the track and field team at Northeastern. When she was younger, Wise was a soccer player, until her brother introduced her to cross country. 

“It was just a fun thing in high school and then once I realized I was good at it I was like, ‘Oh, I definitely want to continue this and be more competitive,’” Wise said.  

Wise says that there have been struggles with injury and recruiting, as well as Northeastern historically having a small cross country team. 

“We seem to always have a good portion of the team out and unable to compete due to injuries so it can be difficult to form a cohesive, competitive team,” Wise said. “We have very talented and dedicated athletes but have not reached our potential due to these injuries.” 

Still, she is hopeful about upcoming seasons and feels that her time on the team has helped her grow as a leader and has built deep connections with her fellow teammates. 

“It feels less like an individual sport,” Wise said. “You’re going through the same thing, and it just happens to be that your time is individual, but you’re still working for the team goal. I think that’s pretty unique about cross country.”  

This past season, she placed seventh at the Nassaney Memorial Invitational in the women’s 5K race with a time of 18:32.1, playing a part in NU’s first place finish in the team women’s 5K category. 

For track and field, her records are just as notable. During the IC4A/ECAC Championships last March, Wise set a new personal record in the 5000m race with a time of 17:10.16. 

She set another personal record at the Raleigh Relays last March, when she placed ninth in the 10000m race with a time of 35:53.75, ranking her second on Northeastern’s all-time outdoor performance list.  

However, with all of these athletic accomplishments under her belt, Wise must work hard to balance sports, academics and other activities. 

Matt Lonergan, the associate head coach of men and women’s cross country, said that for the fall semester, he focused on making changes to Wise’s training program in order to create a greater balance between her academics and athletics. 

“It can take a couple years for each individual athlete to kind of figure things out.” Lonergan said. “And I think when that happens, things can come together and a lot of progress can happen in a short amount of time.” 

Wise is a fourth-year environmental engineering major, and is currently on co-op at Weston & Sampson, a multidisciplinary company that offers design, engineering and environmental services to its clients. 

She also enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and snowboarding, and is a member of Northeastern’s chapter of the New England Water and Environment Association, or NEWEA. 

“[NEWEA tries] to connect students with corporations and universities in the area to talk about what the environmental engineering field looks like, what career opportunities are, and give students a better idea of what they want to get into,” Wise said. 

When she is not running cross country or track or working at her co-op, Wise might be found watching shows like “Big Mouth,” enjoying improv around the city or eating at India Quality Restaurant. 

Moving forward, Lonergan said that he will continue to work toward finding a balance between Wise’s training and personal life. He emphasized the importance of communicating with each individual athlete and designing the training program around each runner so that it fits their personal skills and needs.

“I think the hardest part is just trying to balance everything,” Wise said. “It’s extremely hard on co-op when you’re trying to practice and go to meets and everything, and then also trying to do other extracurriculars…Prioritizing what is most important to you, and what you can dedicate all your time to, it’s a tough thing to balance.”