Northeastern men’s track and field kicks off season with dual meet at Army


The men’s track and field team kick off their indoor season at Army over the weekend, after almost a year-long hiatus.

Sam Culver, news correspondent

The Northeastern men’s track and field team competed for the first time since March in an indoor meet against Army in West Point, N.Y. Their last spring season was cancelled after the outbreak of COVID-19 closed down all universities and colleges. 

A few stellar individual performances highlighted the team’s season opener. Freshman Savion Thompson showed out in his first collegiate meet, placing second in the long jump, third in the triple jump and fourth in the 60 meter hurdles. Senior Donatien Djero won the 60 meter dash, gapping the field by a dominant 0.09 seconds, and ran the fastest leg of the 4×400 relay for NU. Another Husky who performed well in multiple events was senior Dametrius O’Connor, who finished second in the 200 meter dash and third in the 60 meter dash.

The Husky distance crew struggled with the absence of the cross country team, who were competing simultaneously in a meet at UNC-Wilmington, but the sprinters and jumpers showed promise for the rest of the season after such a long layoff. Djero, who has already established himself as one of the top sprinters in NU history, ran a 6.84 second mark for the 60m dash, just 0.08 seconds shy of his team best 6.76 second performance last year.Thompson’s 6.84 meter long jump already bested the top Husky mark from last year, so a new star could be emerging for the Husky jumpers.

Mixing these performers with the return of stud distance runners graduate student Cameron Dickson and junior Alex Korczynski, who were competing in the UNC-Wilmington meet, should help bring the Huskies together to return as the dominant program that won the CAA championship for outdoor track and field in 2019. 

A common theme of this season will be the changes put in place to protect the athletes and staff from COVID-19.

“We’ve had some practices an hour away both ways so athletes are having to leave at 6 am to be on the track for 7 and then back for classes,” said head coach Tramaine Shaw.

This season, the team is hoping to compete in one invitational and have the whole team, including the cross country team, together for a couple races. Ahead of the Army meet, assistant coach Wilfredo DeJesus spoke about the challenges the team has faced in the unusual circumstances surrounding meet preparation, but expressed great optimism for the future of the team. 

DeJesus said team practice has been uncertain, leaving some practices to take place in the Fens and Dedham, but called the team “as tough as they can be” in overcoming all the hurdles in front of them, quite literally in the case of junior Phillips Magre, who had to leap over a disqualified runner during the 400m dash.

Without much chance to see his team perform, DeJesus was glad to use the meet at Army as a point to monitor the progress of his athletes. Shaw was similarly upbeat about seeing her athletes compete. 

“We just look forward to every weekend, every competition, even every practice,” she said.

Shaw went out of her way to commend all the athletes, staff and professors at Northeastern for all their efforts to provide them with the opportunity to compete at meets and train, despite the difficulties with COVID-19. 

The Huskies will look next to compete again Feb. 12 for a weekend meet at Liberty University down in Lynchburg, Virginia.