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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

TRADITION — Established in 1979, the Moosemen hold the distinction of being NMUs oldest campus club.
Moosemen rugby embracing tradition with new season underway
Caden SierraSeptember 22, 2023

Speedskating trials get underway at NMU

The U.S. Olympic short track speedskating trials kicked off Tuesday evening in the Berry Events Center. Ten resident USOEC athletes competed in the initial time trials in front of a crowd of over 2000. Five earned spots to continue the competition.
The event began with a 9-lap, 1000-meter time trial intended to narrow the field of 30 men and 25 women down to 16 competitors of each gender. Those 16 would then take part in the remaining three days of competition.

Of the five USOEC males who had prequalified for the trials, only Chris Creveling was able to place in the top 16, earning 12th with a time of 1:27.634. The 1000-meter time trial was won by 19-year-old J.R. Celski in 1:23.981. Crowd favorite Apolo Anton Ohno ended up in second place with 1:24.500.
Both train with the National Short Track Training Program.
Creveling felt that being able to compete in Marquette made him more comfortable during the competition.

“It’s kind of like practice for me,” he said, adding that it was good to see Marquette come out to support the event. “This city is great.”

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The female USOEC squad fared better than their male counterparts, as four of the five earned berths in the 16 trial competitors.

NMU senior Cherise Wilkins led the squad with a ninth place finish in the 1000-meter trial, crossing the line in 1:35.002. Teammate Tamara Frederick followed less than a second behind in tenth, and Kristen Biondo and Erin Bartlett rounded out the USOEC athlete qualifiers in 13th and 16th places respectively.
Following the Tuesday night 1000-meter preliminaries was a 4-lap, 444 meter time trial for the 32 qualifiers. Creveling finished the event in 38.220 seconds, good for 12th place.

The finish added another 86 points to Creveling’s running total. Creveling finished Tuesday evening in 14th place overall.
The men’s 4-lap trial was won by Jordan Malone in a time of 37.124 seconds.

Wilkins led the USOEC women in the 4-lap time trial as well, earning 7th place with a time of 41.307 seconds.
The women’s 4-lap race was won by 19-year old National program trainee Alyson Dudek.

Wednesday brought with it the first traditional racing of the trials, as the athletes were slated to compete in the first round of 1500-meter and 500-meter races. The format pitted six athletes in head-to-head competition in a semi-final and final round. The top two athletes from each event went to the A final heat, the next two to the B final, and the last two into the C final.

Creveling, despite hanging at the front of his pack for most of the race and even leading for several laps, fell back and ultimately finished fifth in the B final of the event with a time of 2:31.976.

J.R. Celski won the men’s 1500-meter competition in 2:22.834.
For the women, Wilkins earned a berth in the B final of the 1500-meter but was disqualified for an infraction while attempting to pass.

“I didn’t quite have the space I needed for it to be a completely clean pass,” she said. “It happens, its short track. I’m used to it. There’s still four more races left, so I’m feeling good.”

This is 24-year old Wilkins’ last chance to qualify for a U.S. Olympic team. She finished 10th overall at the 2003 Olympic trials.

USOEC athlete Erin Bartlett was also disqualified in her 1500-meter C final heat.

Kristin Biondo turned in the top USOEC performance in the 1500. Despite several attempts to pass into the leaders in the preliminaries, she never succeeded in making the move.
“Everybody was fighting really hard, it was hard to get in where I wanted to,” Biondo explained.

She finally finished third in the B final with a time of 2:33.612, which garnered her 168 points. She was pleased with the way the competition was unfolding.

“I’m skating faster than I have, and that’s something to be happy with,” she said.

The winning women’s 1500 time was 2:24.184 by Katherine Reutter.

The athletes rounded out Tuesday evening with the 500-meter race. The 500 is an all-out sprint for four laps of the track.
Creveling competed in a qualifier heat with past Olympian Apolo Ohno and former USOEC athlete and World Team qualifier Travis Jayner. Creveling finished last in his heat, but took a lot away from the experience.

“The racing is way faster than any other year,” he said. “It’s been a good learning experience.”

He finished the event in 9th place and earned 168 points.
Through the first two days, Creveling sits in 14th place with 426 points.

The USOEC women were led in the 500-meter event by Wilkins, who finished second in the B final heat in a time of 46.306. She ended the event 6th overall and added 328 points to her running total.

Bartlett and Biondo both skated in the C final and finished the event in 11th and 12th respectively. Tamara Frederickson ended the event in 15th place.

Alyson Dudek won the 500-meter event with a new track-record time of 44.541 seconds.

Through two days of competition, the USOEC girls sit as follow: Wilkins in 9th with 844 points, Biondo in 13th with 358, Frederick in 14th with 354 points and Bartlett in 16th with 241.
The athletes will get a day off on Thursday, then return to the Berry Events Center on Friday, Sept. 11 for the 1000-meter and 1500-meter races. Events will begin at 6:30 p.m., and tickets are still available.

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