The NMU women’s indoor track and field team will begin the 2010-2011 season on Dec. 4th at the St. Scholastica Mini Meet in Duluth, Minn. Though this event will not be scored, head coach Tom Barnes said he expects this event to bring the best out in his team.
“This is a great meet to get started with as we kick off our indoor season this year,” Barnes said. “We have been ready to get this season started for a while now, and I am very excited about the potential our team has this year and anticipate us going far this year.”
The team will be performing without four of its senior captains from last season: Karin Diebold, Maegan Hendershot, Krista Squiers and Erin VanEnkevort. Diebold concentrated on sprinting and pole vault. Both Hendershot and VanEnkevort ran distances and relays. Squiers focused mainly on throws such as Hammer, Javelin, and Weight.
Both Hendershot and Squiers were honored this past August as both were named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association women’s 2010 Division II All-Academic Track and Field Team. This will be the fourth consecutive year NMU has received this prestigious award.
“We really stress to the team that education is very important,” Barnes said. “Once the track season starts, there is no turning back. Once our indoor season is over, our outdoor season begins. So we make sure the team keeps its grades up and remains goal-oriented.”
Expecting to fill the roles for the captain positions this year are: Nora Kiilunen, Angela Leckson, Bailey Franklin, Brittnee Balbierz, Catherine Angeli and Kristen Schulz.
All captains bring a wide variety of talent to the team. Kiilunen focuses mainly on running distance, Leckson does shot put and javelin, Franklin participates in a number of different events, Angeli does sprints and relays, and Schulz runs distance. Barnes said that even though each captain focuses on their area of expertise, they still work with the team as a whole.
“The captains will go out there and do their part, I have no doubt of that,” Barnes said. “But on top of that, they contribute to this team as a whole by bringing a good attitude and effort to practice and meets. It all starts with effort and attitude.”
The team finished fourth in the GLIAC last year for both outdoor and indoor events. Head coach Tom Barnes said with the team he has this year, it should be no trouble keeping that spot, but he would like to see the team move up in the rankings.
“Getting ranked fourth in both indoors and outdoors last year was good,” Barnes said. “With the team we have this season and the conditional training and techniques we work on in practice, we are only going to improve and do well at our meets. As long as we remain confident and focused, we are going to go far this season.”