Players of the Week

Players of the Week

Northeastern was a large presence at the first women’s outdoor track and field meet in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), taking places first through fourth in the 800-meter run at the Ram Invitational at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. on March 17 and March 18.

Junior Erin Ballard lead the way at 2:15.75, followed by sophomore Laura McCloskey at 2:18.09, junior Natalee Pennicooke at 2:18.20 and freshman Brittany Moriarity at 2:19.22. The teammates were named The Northeastern News Co-Players of the Week.

“We were kind of surprised by the results because it was our first outdoor meet,” Ballard said. “It was more of adjusting to the outdoors than getting a good time.”

Ballard’s teammates agreed, citing an increase in the level of play among their competitors in the outdoor season.

“You have to worry about the elements with an outdoor track, like wind and rain,” Pennicooke said. “Different people tend to run faster times outdoors.”

The meet was a major step for the program, facing its CAA rivals outdoors after winning seven consecutive American East championships. And while the scowls from the new competition might be intimidating, Pennicooke and her teammates contend there’s nothing for them to fear from their new competition.

“I think they’re scared of us. We were getting a lot of glares this weekend,” Pennicooke said. “They’re trying to do their homework and figure out how to beat us.”

At the helm of the America East championships has been coach Sherman Hart, whose presence has kept the team focused during this time of transition.

“There’s never a dull moment with coach Hart,” Ballard said. “You never know what to expect out of him, you think you’ve ran a good race and he’ll change your mind about it. I feel like he kicks me in the butt when I need it.”

That extra momentum may not be needed for these four, who have great chemistry from the starting line to the foul line of a bowling alley.

“We were like each other’s competition this weekend,” McCloskey said. “Other teams have rivalries within their team, but we’re pretty good about it. We hang out outside of track, we went bowling together while staying in Richmond for the meet and we laughed a lot; the entire trip was fun.”

– Compiled by staff writer Matt Foster

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