Cross country prepares for regional tourney

Brice Burge

The Northern Michigan University cross country team finished 10th of 14 teams at the GLIAC Cross Country Championships on Nov. 6.  It was a lower than expected finish for the Wildcats.

“It didn’t go great, but it went good,” said head coach Jenny Ryan. “Eight girls ran their best times of the season, but our conference is really strong, as the top four teams in the GLIAC are ranked in the top 20 in the country.

Kristen Schulz was the first ’Cat across the line, as she finished in 39th place with a time of 23:25.6. Nora Kiilunen finished 11 seconds behind her in 48th.  Mandy Dye was the third Northern runner to finish, as she took 54th place with a time of 23:44.3.  Christina Turman and Marie Helen Soderman were the last scoring runners as they finished in 66th and 68th and 24:06.5 and 24:09.1 respectively

As a team, the ’Cats scored 256 points, 15 points behind ninth-placed Findlay and 56 points ahead of Northwood. Grand Valley took the conference title with a dominating 18 points, just three points off of a perfect score. Ferris, Wayne State, Hillsdale and Ashland rounded out the top 5.

The Wildcats are now preparing for their last meet of the season at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional on Saturday, Nov. 20. Teams from the GLIAC will meet up with teams from the Great Lakes Valley Conference will race at the regional and the top three teams from the meet will advance to the NCAA National Championship.

“Our goal is to finish in the top 10,” Ryan said. “The (GLVC) is not as strong as our conference is, as … Wisconsin-Parkside finished third, but we’ve beaten them twice this season. If we go and have a good day and pass some of the people ahead of us in our conference, we can do it.”

The Great Lakes Regional will start at 10:00 a.m. at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kent. and is hosted by Bellarmine University.