Blowing snow and wind couldn’t stop the NMU track team from competing this weekend as the Wildcats took part in a makeshift meet at Lake Superior State University (LSSU).
The ‘Cats were originally scheduled to compete in the NCAA II Challenge at Saginaw Valley State University but adverse weather conditions forced the cancellation of the meet. NMU head coach Tom Barnes said the team had cancelled their travel plans and were preparing to practice when LSSU coaches called them and told NMU that they had organized a four-school meet.
Barnes said he felt his team performed well in the meet despite the short notice.
“We had a good meet on Saturday,” Barnes said. “We were able to get everybody back together and were able to have some girls run good times at the meet.”
NMU’s distance runners performed well in the meet, capturing first, second, and third in the mile and second through fifth in the 800-meter run. Senior Danielle Stein finished first in the mile with a time of 5:23.840. Junior Jennifer Wiedmeyer and freshman Kristin Schulz finished 2nd and 3rd with times of 5:27.26 and 5:27.55. Sophomore Maegan Hendershot led the way for the ‘Cats in the 800 with a time of 2:23.86.
“The distance runners are really coming around. Every one of them pretty much improved their times,” Barnes said. “Their training is a little different. They come off of cross country and have to rest and then rebuild their base.”
Northern’s 4×400-meter relay team of Jessica Trotochaud, Erin VanEnkevort, Danielle St. Onge and Stephanie Boyer edged Ferris State for first place with a time of 4:08.678.
Boyer also finished first in both the 400-meter and 200-meter dashes, with times of 59.253 and 26.425. Barnes said these times put her in the top of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) for both events.
Also finishing strong for the ‘Cats was junior Natalie Bertucci, who finished first in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.724. Bertucci set a new school record in her preliminary race of the hurdles with a time of 8.593.
“She’s been great. Every meet so far this year she has a record,” Barnes said of Bertucci.
This Saturday, the Wildcats host their only home meet of the season. The meet will feature eight teams, several track clubs and individual Canadian runners competing. NMU will hope to have a strong showing in the meet, which will feature four other GLIAC teams.
“It’s going to be a really good meet. This is double the size of last year,” Barnes said.