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The North Wind

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Molly Birch
Molly Birch

My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

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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

Schulz breaks school steeple record

The NMU women’s track and field team found success Thursday, April 15 through Saturday, April 17, at the Northwood Invitational meet.

The meet included a heptathlon, where each competitor will compete in seven different events and point totals are given on Thursday and Friday of the meet based on their results. Sophomore Bailey Franklin won six of seven events to win with a score of 4406.

“The weather was perfect to compete in and everything started to click,” Franklin said. “I think I surprised myself with how well I finished.”

The field events were the key to the Wildcats success at the meet. Franklin won the high jump (1.76m), second in the triple jump (11.07m) and seventh in the long jump (4.65m).

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Senior Krista Squiers finished second in the hammer throw (48.89m) and fifth in the discus (36.09m).

“Just another meet, really,” Squiers said. “Every meet, you go into it with the best you got. We’re used to the weather because we’re running outside, throwing outside wasn’t much of a difference.”

She also won the javelin (33.37m), an event NMU did well in as senior Angie Leckson finished second and freshman Mariah Beaman finished sixth.

“We have a good javelin program,” said head coach Tom Barnes. “We finished three in the top five last year at conference. We’re hoping to get three in the top eight this year.”

A school record fell in the steeplechase as junior Kristen Schulz won the event. Her time of 11:37.64 eclipsed the former record by five seconds, set by Brittney Coehoorn in 2006.

“I was pretty excited when I set it because it is one of my goals for the season,” Schulz said.

The steeplechase is a 3,000-meter race containing five steeples, or non-moving hurdles. A competitor must jump over the steeples throughout the race. One of the hurdles is a 12-foot long water pit that the competitor must try to dodge, usually by stepping on the steeple to launch over the pit. Over the course of the race, Schulz jumped over 35 steeples and seven water pits to grab the win.

“During the race, I was just trying to stay focused and work on going steeple to steeple,” said Schulz. “There was one other girl in the race that was really competing with me, but in the last 800 (meters), I was able to break away and have a strong finish.”

The Wildcats had mixed success in the sprints as Catherine Angeli and Britnee Balbierz finished first and third in the 100-meter dash and second and fifth in the 200-meter dash. No individual Wildcats finished higher than fourth in any other sprinting event.

Balbierz and Angeli were able to pair up, along with sophomore Melissa Christensen and freshman Alyssa Erspamer in the 4×100 relay for first place with a time of 49.34 seconds.

NMU also did well in the other relay of the meet, as they finished second and sixth in the 4×400 relay.

The distance events failed to match the numbers put up by that of sprints or field events. With the exception of Schulz in the steeplechase, freshman Rita Woitas’s fourth of seven in the 5,000-meter with a time of 19:26.05 was the top placement for the ’Cats. Junior Kristen Hoklas was the top NMU finisher in the 3,000-meter with 11:48.04 and redshirt freshman Nora Kiilunen finished in eighth in the 1,500-meter with a 5:06.89. Despite the placements, Barnes is still satisfied by their performances.

“We just need the right day,” he said. “We’re not trying to get our best times every week, but we’re peaking towards the GLIAC Championships. Once we lighten up our training, our times will really jump.”

Up next for the Wildcats will be the Gina Relays Thursday, April 22 at Hillsdale and they will compete against GLIAC foes Saginaw Valley, Ferris State and Northwood.

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