Men’s ‘ Women’s Track: 400-meter runners star in opener

By Adam Riglian

The track and field season is back in session, and both teams are picking up where they left off last year with success from established athletes and surprising performances from newcomers.

Both the men’s and women’s teams, lead by head coach Sherman Hart, competed well in the preseason Husky Winter Carnival Dec. 2 at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury.

“I am not jumping up and celebrating like we won the Super Bowl, but I was very pleased with our results,” Hart said.

Returning seniors Conrad Dalton and Christian Tirella finished first and third respectively in the men’s 400-meter, and the 4×400-meter relay team led by captain Tirella and senior Jose Fernandez raced to victory by a five-second margin.

Sophomore Nate Hunter, heir to the Derek Anderson throwing legacy, won the shot put, edging out senior Semiu Alli. Fellow sophomore Daniel Anderson tied for the lead in the pole vault, and was given the win on a judge’s decision.

While the men’s team has a strong core of upperclassmen, a few newcomers stole some of the spotlight away. Freshman Adrian Li cruised to a four-inch victory in the high jump while rookie Jonathan Hall took home second in the 500-meter and a win with the 4×400 relay team.

The women’s team came out of the blocks firing, taking seven out of 18 events in the preseason meet. Last year’s runner-up at the New England and ECAC championship looked as strong as ever.

In addition to the victories, nearly every event saw a Northeastern athlete in the top two or three.

The team’s most dominant performance came in the pole vault, lead by sophomore Olivia Kalinowska, the event winner. Northeastern swept the top three spots in the event, and added a fifth-place finish. The scoring athletes were all sophomores or younger.

“I am really excited about this group of pole vaulters; they’re going to make some noise throughout this season,” Hart said.

Seniors DaviAnn Brown and Zara Northover took home wins in the 500-meter and shot put respectively, while junior hurdler Tramaine Shaw edged out teammate Aquila Williams-Judge for the win in the 55-meter hurdles.

In a display of their collective strengths, both teams won the 4×400-meter relay, high jump, pole vault and shot put.

“These events are part of our strength as a coaching staff,” Hart said.

He said in track ‘ field, athletes tend to seek out coaches who are knowledgeable in their particular events, as he is in the 400-meter. He said this is part of the reason Northeastern frequently attracts high quality 400-meter runners every season, and has dominant 4×400-meter relay teams on both the men’s and women’s sides.

The team’s next competition is uncertain, as Hart said he is toying with the idea of skipping, or at least not sending a full team, to the URI Multi-Event Invitational next weekend.

If he does decide to skip the meet, the team’s next appearance will be Jan. 6 at the highly-competitive Harvard meet with Connecticut, where Hart said Shaw will attempt to qualify for nationals.

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