Track squad prepares for lone home meet

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Just one week after returning from winter break, the NMU women’s track team was already back into competition, racing in the Lake Superior Classic on Saturday, Jan. 16 in Sault Ste. Marie.

Although no team scores were kept, individual times were recorded, and NMU coach Tom Barnes was pleased with the way his team performed.

“There’s some good competition at this meet; everyone did well for this time of year,” Barnes said. He was most impressed with the attitude his squad brought to the meet. “The thing that made me most happy was team spirit everyone had and the sportsmanship. They have good attitudes and they have fun. Those are the two important things.”

Top performers for the Wildcats included sprinters Britnee Balbierz and Catherine Angeli. Balbierz won the 55-meter dash and finished second in the 200-meter event, while Angeli took second and first, respectively.

“They’re actually a couple of top sprinters in the GLIAC,” Barnes said.

Also turning in top performances were Erin VanEnkevort (second in the 800-meter run), Becky Rotter (second in the 400-meter run) and Nora Kiilunen (second in the 1600-meter run). The Wildcat distance squad dominated the 3000-meter event, taking the first through sixth spots.

Although there were few field competitions at the meet, the weight throw was held. Wildcat Krista Squiers finished second with a throw of 16.68 meters. Although she was pleased with her finish, Squiers was hoping for more.

“I know I can perform better,” she said. “It was a qualifying throw, but it wasn’t what I expect of myself as a thrower. I expect more.”

Her finish earned her the title of GLIAC Field Athlete of the Week, an honor she felt reflected as much on NMU as it did on her.

“For Northern and Northern track and field, it’s just a big step,” she said. “It feels good for the team in general to get recognition out there, to show that we can compete.”

Squiers is currently ranked seventh in the weight throw event in Division-II after her Dec. 5 throw of 17.29 meters.

Up next for the ‘Cats is their lone home meet of the season, on Saturday, Jan. 23.
As it is the last home meet for the current senior class, Saturday will also serve as senior day. Barnes is hoping for a strong showing from his team.

“Usually, everyone has good performances here at this meet,” he said. “I’d like to see some improvement on times. We’re really strong in the jumps, so it’ll be nice for those athletes to get to do some of their events.”

Senior recognition will be at 10:45 a.m. Field events will commence at 11 a.m., followed by running at 11:30 a.m. All events will be held in the Superior Dome.