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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Caden Sierra
Caden Sierra
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Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

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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.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Intrasquad meet conditions swimmers

The NMU swimming and diving season is underway at last. The Wildcats competed amongst themselves Saturday in the annual Green and Gold intrasquad event. The exhibition competition consisted of 11 swimming and two diving events, and is the lone home meet of the season.

The Green and Gold competition is designed to pit NMU swimmers and divers against each other in order to get the team ready for the upcoming season.

The Green team won the competition by a score of 110 to 108. The meet came down to the final event when the Green team defeated the Gold team by less than a second in the 400 yard freestyle relay.

The Green team edged out the win due to a strong finish by freshman Kelsey Sipple in the race.

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“I kind of wanted to win it for the team,” she said. “When you’re put in a position like the relay, you know you want to beat the other person to help out your team.”

Head coach Bob Laughna said the event gives the competitors a better feel for what they can expect in upcoming meets against other colleges.

The meet also allowed Laughna to see what his swimmers needed to improve on in order to be more competitive this season.

“It gives us an opportunity to see what we have to work on as far as speed and conditioning,” he said.

In addition to Sipple’s performance, freshman Olga Budiansky earned crucial points for the Green team.

The pair teamed up to win all seven of the events they participated in.

“It was a nice introduction meet to what college swimming will probably be like,” said Sipple.

Laughna was encouraged by the strong finishes he saw from both Sipple and Budiansky, especially in the 50- and 100- yard freestyle events.

“I was really happy with the times of both Olga and Kelsey,” he said.

Overall, Laughna was satisfied with the effort put forth by both NMU teams during the meet.

“They were very aggressive, and I like that,” he said.

Laughna felt that the Green and Gold meet displayed that the team is better than it was at this time last year.

Sipple felt that the team’s dedication to this point was starting to pay dividends for the squad.

“All your hard work you put in in the morning at practice feels like it has paid off,” said Sipple.

Diving coach Andy Ward was also excited by what he saw from his three divers, including his two freshmen Gold team members Kayla Walenta and Ali Black.

Even though junior Kelli Vander Baan won both the one- and three-meter events for the Green team, he was still encouraged by their performances.

Walenta was second in the one-meter event, followed by Black.

“Being that it was the very first meet for both Ali and Kayla, especially up on the three meter [diving board], I thought they did fantastic,” he said.

“It was good to get the experience of a similar type of feeling that they’ll have as they go into a diving meet,” he said.

Both teams will have some time to shore up any weaknesses before their next competition. Up next for the Wildcat swimmers and divers is a meet at Hillsdale College on Oct. 31.

Laughna hopes the team will be able to compete well and earn a victory in their first meet against another school this season.

“It’s going to be close,” he said, “[the competition] is going to be back and forth.”

Following their Hillsdale College meet, the Wildcats will take a journey out of state to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Nov. 7.

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