Track ‘ Field: Hunter named CAA Rookie of the Year

Track ‘ Field: Hunter named CAA Rookie of the Year

Sophomore Thrower Nate Hunter didn’t expect to contribute a lot in his first year on Northeastern’s track team.

He also didn’t expect to win the shot put at the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championships in Richmond, Va., in April, propelling the Huskies to a fourth-place finish in their first CAA season.

And he certainly didn’t expect to be named the CAA Rookie of the year. But he was, the league announced July 21.

“It’s a great honor and I had a lot of fun this year,” Hunter said. “It feels great competing for Northeastern and I’ve always wanted to compete here. It’s a really unbelievable honor.”

Hunter expected to remain in the lowlight during his first season on Huntington Avenue, and the Huskies looked fine with senior thrower Derek Anderson leading the way. But as the season played out, Hunter wanted more for himself and the team. With guidance from the coaches of the men’s track team, he had a very successful freshman campaign.

“My first year I really wanted to come in and I planned on red-shirting,” Hunter said. “But we wanted to do well, I really wanted to do well for myself and having such a great coach like [head men’s track coach Sherman] Hart and [assistant coach Sherman] Donahue, I had a good season and we were able to go out and win the conference meet in two events, nothing I really thought was going to happen.”

Hunter said Anderson has been an “unbelievable” influence during his first season, and “has really set the pace for the rest of the team.” Unfortunately Anderson was unable to compete in the CAA Championships, leaving Hunter to lead the Husky throwers against their conference rivals.

“He told me to step it up,” Hunter said. “Getting to the NCAA regional was one of my main goals and I feel good with what happened.”

With Anderson gone and the fall season looming, Hunter and the rest of the team are gearing up.

“Derek is gone, Nate is the man now,” Coach Sherman Hart said. “He’s the leader of the throwers. I think this squad is a talented group of men, and next year they’ll do even better. I think this is one my best men’s teams overall in the past years and the people we have coming in the next year will be even better.”

Hunter said he believes the men’s team has a good system in place and should be fine despite Anderson’s departure.

“I have some pretty big shoes to fill,” Hunter said. “I think with such a good staff the men’s team has a good shot.”

A few of Hunter’s teammates also received some off-season hardware. Sophomore Jack Sherman was named All-Conference for his win in the decathlon, junior Senui Alli was All-Conference in the discus, senior Ricky Parente and sophomore Bamidele Faboyede earned All-CAA honors in the javelin and hammer throws, and senior Michael Couch was named to the All-Conference team in the pole vault.

On the women’s side, junior Zara Northover and freshman Olivia Kalinowska were named to the CAA All-Conference team for their wins in the shot put and pole vault, respectively. Senior Jordine Kimbrel earned All-Conference honors for her efforts in three events, including the Huskies’ first-place finish in the 4×400 relay. She also finished second in both the 100- and 200-meter.

Sophomore Tramaine Shaw was also part of the 4×400 relay, but earned her own All-CAA honors with a win in the long jump (19 feet, 4.75 inches) and a second-place finish in the both the 100- and 400-meter hurdles.

Junior Shanae Henry and sophomore Alison Warren were also named to the All-CAA team for their part in the 4×400 relay. Warren was also honored for her second place finish in the 400-meter (55.87).

Junior Erin Ballard was named All-Conference for her second-place finish in the 800-meter (2:12.6) and freshman Kristie Ganon was honored for her third-place finish in the 10,000-meter (37:46.06).

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