The men’s cross country team and women’s cross country team will begin competing this spring season after almost a year-long hiatus due to cancellations from COVID-19. Their previous spring season was cut short in March, and they were not able to compete in the fall or winter due to COVID-19 protocols within the Northeastern athletics department.
The men’s cross country team will be the first to debut this season, traveling Friday to Winnabow, N.C. to compete in a CAA meet preview against University of North Carolina Wilmington and Elon. The men’s 8 km race is expected to start at 4 p.m. and will be run on the Old Ford Golf Courts, where the CAA championships is also scheduled to be held.
“The team as a whole is just grateful to get the opportunity to compete again in a safe way,” associate head coach Matt Lonergan said in a video interview. “In a safe way, we’ve been training hard and consistently, spring, summer, fall, and to get the opportunity to compete. Everyone’s just really excited and ready to go.”
The women’s cross country team will be making their season debut later, competing in the UMass Amherst Tri-Meet Feb. 13 in Amherst, Mass.
Lonergan said that both cross country teams have had to make some adjustments during practices for safety measures. This included training outdoors even during the winter season when they usually train in indoor facilities.
Although both teams were training during the fall season and took part in time trials within their own team, these two races will be the teams’ first time competing against other schools since March 2020. For the freshmen, this will be their first time racing for the team.
“I want to see the group run as a unit and just to be excited and enthusiastic to be out there to showcase all their hard work,” Lonergan said.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams are both scheduled to run at a meet hosted by the University of New Hampshire Feb. 20 before returning to compete in the CAA championships March 5, hosted by UNCW. They will also both compete in the NCAA championships March 15, hosted by Oklahoma State University.
The men’s and women’s track and field teams have yet to announce their spring season schedule.