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Husky harriers ready for season

The Northeastern cross country program started the 2015 season on Saturday at the Nassaney Invitational at Bryant University, with both the men’s and women’s teams finishing fourth overall.

The Husky harriers are coming off strong showings at last year’s Colonial Athletic Association championship. Though this year’s squads are fairly young, Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Cathrine Erickson sees a lot of potential.

We asked Erickson about her expectations for this season.

How has preseason preparation gone? Have you approached this season any differently than past seasons?

The preseason has gone well. We are a very young team, so we have approached the preseason a little more cautiously than in the past. However, the student-athletes’ have been training very well.

Both the men’s and women’s teams finished in the top half of the team standings at last year’s Colonial Athletic Association championship meet. What will it take to improve on those results this year?

We are looking forward to seeing the teams do well this year. There is still an adjustment to be made for the younger athletes on the men’s side with the longer distances. But the returning student-athletes are very talented, so we expect a good showing from the upperclassmen.

Which meet early in the schedule are you most looking forward to as a barometer for how the teams could perform later in the season?

We are really looking forward to the championship meets. The New England Championships on Oct. 10 is a meet where we traditionally want to do well. But we will focus our training and preparation to be able to run well in late October and November.

Which runners are you counting on to step up and lead both on the course and in the locker room?

Christian Stafford and Ben Trapani had good freshman years last year and we expect them to do well this year. Adding Nephat Maritim, who transferred from Harvard, to the men’s team will also give us some good leadership for the pack of freshmen who are loaded with potential.

On the women’s side, Lucy Young and Jordan O’Dea should be shooting to advance to the NCAA Championship as individuals. Sophomore Kerri Ruffo is a very tough and determined runner whom we expect to do very well and pull the freshman women along.

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