Men's and women's cross country started out 2016 strong in their first races of the season at the Wheelock Cross Country Opener. Naomi Ricciotti (Phoenix, Ariz.) ran a 17:03 over the 2.08 mile course, winning first place in the opening race of the year. Fellow teammates Destiny Spears (Annapolis, Md.) and Christina Babcock (Shirley, Mass.) took second and third, respectively.
In the men's first race at the Wheelock Opener, Nighthawks runners ran the top five times in the meet, led by Tim Brown (Orange, Conn.) who ran a 16:07 over 2.53 miles. Joshua Oliver (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) and Christopher Beaudoin (Bristol, Conn.) rounded out the top-three in the Wheelock Opener.
The hot start for both sides would continue in race two; the Mitchell Cross Country Invitational. Samantha Libby (New Gloucester, Maine) and Spears would finish fifth and sixth, respectively, en route to a first place finish for the women's team.
On the men's side, Brown would have another impressive race over 5000 meters, leading the men cross country Nighthawks to a second place finish at Mitchell.
Brown proved to be one of the strongest runners that the Nighthawks had in 2016. His 13th place finish at the 12th annual Mass. Maritime Travis J. Fuller Invitational, was the best 8k run in the NECC at the time, completing the over five mile course in 26:55 (5:23 pace). The men's side finished the invitational tied-second place with 74 points.
Libby had a strong showing for the Nighthawks in the same invitational, finishing in 12th place after a 23:49 time (7:39 pace) over five kilometers. The women's cross country team finished the Travis J. Fuller Invitational in fourth.
Brown would cap off his strong season with a 21st place finish in the NECC Championships at Stanley Park in Westfield, Mass; a sixth place finish in the Championships for the Nighthawks.