It was early May and Northeastern men’s and women’s track and field teams had just won their conference championships. But interim head coach Tramaine Shaw was so focused on coaching the Huskies that she didn’t immediately notice a parallel to her own career.
Shaw, a hurdler, long-jumper, and relay racer, helped the Huskies win the program’s first-ever Colonial Athletic Association title in women’s track and field in 2007. Now, 11 years later, she was leading the women’s squad to its next one.
The two feats even occurred at the same venue: the College of William & Mary in Virginia.
“I didn’t realize it at the time. It was only later that I put two and two together,” said Shaw, a 2009 graduate who was inducted into the Northeastern Hall of Fame in 2015 and is now in her eighth season as a coach. “There was something slightly poetic to have us win with me as head coach. To watch our women have the same success and excitement, I’m very blessed. I know what it takes to work so hard and achieve this.”
The collegiate track and field season is split in two phases: indoor in the winter, and outdoor in the spring. The cross-country season is held in the fall.
Northeastern’s men’s and women’s teams swept the 2018 CAA championships in the first week of May, marking the first time in program history that both teams have won the conference title in the same year. The Huskies collected 45 medals at the championships.
This past weekend, the women’s team claimed its third straight New England Outdoor Championships and the men’s team placed second at the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America Championships.
Next up for Northeastern: the NCAA championships. The Huskies who qualify will compete in the East regional, held in Tampa, Florida, on May 24 to May 26.
Shaw said each team entered the season with different mindsets. The men’s team had won the past three CAA titles and was working to stay on top, while the women banded together to erase letdowns from past seasons.
“We have a good group of seniors that made a conscious effort to end their collegiate careers the right way,” she said.
The men’s and women’s teams compete separately on meet day, but Shaw said they train together and share a tight bond. “The men were more excited to see women win the CAA title than to win their own.”