NMU cross country earns sixth at Roy Griak


The Women’s cross country team finished sixth of 22 teamslast weekend at the Roy Griak Invitational held in St. Paul, Minn. The meet is one of the biggest collegiate races of the year and pitted the ‘Cats against teams from all over the country.

“The girls ran very well. They ran smart races and they ran hard,” said head coach Jennifer Ryan. “I think this was a good result for us to show that we are moving on our way up . I see some good things
happening and I see continued good results in the next couple of meets.”

The team’s top runner was Bibiane Mahy, who came in 24th overall with a time of 23:51 for the 6000-meter course. The team’s second finisher was Jenny Wiedmeyer, coming in 42nd
overall with a time of 24:13.

Other top finishers for the Wildcats included freshman Olivia Juntila who finished 47th overall in 24:22 and freshman Sara Allen, 68th overall with a time of 24:42.

Junior Kristen Schulz was also pleased with the team’s performance.

“I’m pretty proud of our team. It was definitely our best race as a team so far,” said Schulz, who finished 93rd overall with a time of 25:05.

“The girls are running faster
and feeling stronger,” Ryan said.

A frequent top runner for the team, Megan Hendershot, who was expected to race this week after having missed the Midwest Collegiate Championships due to a foot injury, was sidelined again due to a kidney infection. She is expected to resume practicing this week.

The ‘Cats’ next meet is at home on Oct. 9th. The meet will be held at Marquette Golf Course in Chocolay Township. Holding the meet near Marquette will allow all 37 runners to compete. The meet will feature many Upper Peninsula teams, meaning the
Wildcats will again face rival Michigan Tech. Also invited are Lake Superior State University, Finlandia University and Gogebic
Community College.

“We hope to win this meet and beat all those other U.P. teams,” said Ryan.

In order to accomplish this goal, Ryan thinks the girls just need to keep up their hard work.

“I know if they run like they did [at
the Roy Griak], they will succeed. If they continue what they’ve been doing, staying positive, focusing on their race, training hard and recovering well, then I think they will definitely surprise some people at the end of the season.”

While Schulz hopes to win the upcoming meet as well, she wants to make sure they at least defeat Michigan Tech.

“Usually we’re fairly better than them but this year they have some competition. We’ve been battling all year,” said Schulz.

Because it is a home meet Ryan hopes the ‘Cat’s will have an advantage over the other teams.

“I set up the course, and this week and next week I’ll take them out there, and they’ll be
able to run some workouts on the course. They’ll have an advantage over everybody else knowing the course well,” she said.

Ryan also hopes that homecourse advantage will help the ‘Cats at the meet in another way.

“The girls will have a lot of people coming to watch them . support from Northern and from the community and their families,” said Ryan.

Because the team has this next weekend off from competition, the women are hosting the Dome Dash; a 5K run/walk open to the public. The race starts behind the Dome. There is an entry fee of $20 which will include a T-shirt and the opportunity to win prizes donated from many local businesses. There
will also be a raffle for prizes. The race is Sunday, Oct. 4 at 9 a.m.