While the snow was falling outside the Superior Dome on Saturday afternoon, school records were falling inside.
The Wildcat track and field team, in front of a home crowd, took first in 10 out of the 12 events in the Northern Challenge on Saturday.
One school record that was broken has national implications. Junior Krista Squiers broke her own record of 16.54 meters in the weight throw, which was already good enough to be 10th in the nation, with a throw of 17.10 meters.
This throw earned approval from NMU coach Tom Barnes.
“That throw has almost guaranteed her a spot at nationals.” Barnes said. “She still has three or four meets left, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she breaks it again.”
While Squiers was breaking her own record, freshman Catherine Angeli was breaking the school record for the 55-meter dash. With a time of 7.56 seconds, Angeli broke the record while running in a preliminary heat.
Angeli also won the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.51 seconds, and the 400-meter dash with a time of 1:00.05.
Senior Leslie Luehmann took first in the long jump at 5.45 meters.
She also placed first in the high jump with a jump of 5-feet-3 inches, and a second place finish in the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.67 seconds
Also performing well in their only home meet were freshmen Bailey Franklin and Melissa Christensen. The duo finished second and third respectively in the long jump.
Franklin also took first place in the triple jump and third in the high jump, while Christensen took third in the 55-meter hurdles. Barnes was happy with the way the team performed so well in an early season event.
“Our goal already this year was to be the best conditioned team out there, and today it showed,” Barnes said. “I am also happy with the way Paris (Malin) and Karin (Diebold) performed in the pole vault.”
Senior Malin and junior Diebold both broke the school record with a jump of 10-feet-7 inches. According to Barnes, both barely missed at 11 feet. With redshrit freshman Ashley Felicelli clearing nine feet the ‘Cats were able to sweep the event.
But it wasn’t just the performance on the track that earned kudos from Barnes. The NMU Army ROTC volunteered to help take stats and run all of the field event sites.
Barnes said their help was essential to the meet.
“We had around 15 members at the meet this year.” Barnes said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”
This weekend the lady Wildcats travel down to Grand Valley State University, for the Division II Challenge.
“With their new 300-meter track surface, and new facility it will be attracting many of the top Division II schools,” Barnes said. “It should be a good test to see where we are at.”