By: Dan Gordon

With preseasons having been wrapped up for a month, the low key meets will surely be the next things to go. The second half of the collegiate cross country season is steadily approaching, and the top guns of New England have followed a familiar path, either tempoing with their teammates at small invitations, or eschewing them all together, choosing to train through the latter part of September in preparation for the “big meets.”

Out of the teams that did choose to toe the line, Northeastern had arguably the greatest day. The Huskies dispatched a very strong University of Connecticut team at the Ted Owen Invite, hosted by Central Connecticut State University (results here).

They were led by freshman sensation Wesleyley Gallagher, who broke away in the final mile to secure his first collegiate win with a blazing fast 25:29.43.

Northeastern was the only team to put five in the top twenty, holding off UConn 43 to 51. This is the second meet in a row where UConn failed to finish it off, (losing to UMass Amherst & Stonehill College at last weekend’s Minuteman Invite). They are going to have to pick it up if they wish to defend their New England Championship title. [for more on performance of the Northeastern men's team, click here.]

On the women’s side, one squad proved why New York teams have been infuriating New Englanders for years.

Hailing from Poughkeepsie, New York, Marist College repeated as champion of the Ted Owen Invitational (results here). The Red Foxes scored 35 points, trouncing an 11 team field that included CCSU, UConn, and University of Hartford.

Bentley sophomore Tara Dooley captured the individual title, covering the 5,000-meter course in 17:35.84. While this course has been known to produce fast times early, Dooley is no slouch. A former soccer player turned harrier, she finished second in the NCAA Division II East Regional women’s cross country championship last fall.

Elsewhere in New England, the Bowdoin men’s team showed everyone why they are ranked 26th in D3, capturing the Wesleyan University Invitational with ease (results here).

The Polar bears knew they had the meet in the bag after going one through four, their first and fourth runner being separated by only 1 second. It will be exciting to see what the quartet of Nicholas Saba, Gregory Talpey, Sam Seekins, and Coby Horowitz can do come later in the season.

This weekend was a quiet one, but the next few weeks should prove to produce some barn burners. Lehigh will host the 39th annual Paul Short Run on September 28th. Last year, more than 5,000 runners from 450 colleges and high schools took part in what is turning into an east coast affair.

Almost all the notable New England teams will be in attendance, so if you aren’t at Paul Short, you better have a good excuse. Check out the men’s assignments and the women’s assignments here.

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