Northeastern men’s cross country take CAA crown, women’s cross country earn highest finish in program history

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Photo courtesy CAA

The Northeastern men’s cross country team won the CAA Championship, ending William & Mary’s 20-year run.

David Allen, news staff

The Northeastern men’s cross country team won their first CAA Championship Friday morning in Winnabow, N.C., and the women’s team secured a runner-up finish for the first time in program history. The men’s championship performance earned them their second conference title in school history, the first since their America East title in 1988, and snapped a 20-year winning streak held by William & Mary.

Junior Alexander Korczynski and senior Cameron Dickson led the men’s team with second- and third-place individual finishes. Their podium performances led five Huskies to top-ten finishes, seven to all-conference finishes and eight to individual personal best times. Korczynski’s time of 23:45.70 over the 8K course falls just hundredths of a second outside Dickson’s school record of 23:45.65 set just months ago at the CAA Preview Meet this past January. 

“The guys really stepped up and really showcased their hard work and dedication that they’ve put forth over the fall and the winter, overcoming many obstacles,” said associate head coach Matt Lonergan, as the team snatched the CAA crown from William & Mary by almost 40 points.

“We’re really stoked for the men and how they competed. It was a super commanding win, and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said assistant coach John Murray. “On the women’s side, I think we did exactly what we were trying to do, and we focused on that, and the execution was spot-on.”

This year’s championships was the first race of the season for the women’s cross country team, and the NU women earned their highest finish in program history. Freshman Tessa McClain led the team with a sixth-place finish in her NU cross country debut and earned all-conference honors along the way. McClain’s time of 20:16.4 over the 6K course smashes the previous school record from 2014, when Lucy Young ran 20:50.8 at the CAA Championships in Boston’s Franklin Park.   

McClain may be the new record-holder, but she was not the only Husky to beat Young’s time. Freshman Abigail Hassman and sophomore Juliet Bussell finished with respective times of 20:43.70 and 20:45.90, and the women’s team ran personal best times across the board. 

“Everyone’s returning next year, and we’re feeling very fortunate to be here. It took everyone a lot to overcome and get to where we’re at right now,” Murray said. “We’re just really proud of our team and our athletes, and we’re looking forward to a stronger outdoor track campaign.”