NMU track opens up outdoor season


The NMU varsity track team participated in the Bulldog Invitational last weekend, hosted by Ferris State University.

The unscored event was the first outdoor meet of the season for NMU?track.

“It was our first meet, our first time outdoors and I think we started out better than we did last year–which is great, because we had a good team last year,” head coach Tom Barnes said.

In the field events, the ‘Cats were particularly strong. Barnes said although the results were not available for the event, sophomore Krista Squiers was able to break her own outdoor record in the hammer throw, throwing over 133 feet.

Squiers finished third in the javelin, with senior teammate Callie Boik finishing sixth in the same event.

“She was really close to her best performance in the javelin,” Barnes said. “In her first meet, she was less than a foot away from her personal best performance–and we haven’t even thrown the javelin outdoors.”

In the long jump, the ‘Cats put two athletes in the top five, with senior Danielle St. Onge at 5.07 meters in fourth place and junior Leslie Luehmann at 5.16 meters, good for third place.

Additionally, Luehmann and St. Onge both finished in the top five for the triple jump.

“That was our first time outdoors on a runway,” Barnes said about the team’s performance in the jumping events. “And we haven’t even had our (sand) pit (to train on).”

The 100-meter dash saw the Wildcats place three runners in the top 10.

St. Onge finished sixth (12.80 seconds), freshman Brittnee Balbierz eighth (13.00) and senior Kaylee Laakso finished 10th (13.04).

In the distance races, NMU was forced to leave four top cross country performers home, and was led by a freshman Michelle Bisig. She finished second in the 5k with a time 18:59.91.

Assistant coach Jenny Ryan said the track team could potentially place distance runners in the national competition.

“I think we have a couple of women who have a shot at making some national provisional times anyway,” Ryan said. “It’s going to be interesting. I think overall, this is going to be one of the best distance teams that we’ve had for this track program for the entire time we’ve had this program.”

The next meet for the track team is April 12 at Saginaw Valley State.