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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson
Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

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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.

Pizza Cat Vol. 3
Deirdre Northrup-RiestererFebruary 26, 2024

’Cats seventh at GLIAC championships

The NMU swimming and diving team hasn’t let its lack of numbers stop them from being competitive in the water this season, and that showed this last weekend in the four-day GLIAC Swimming and Diving Championships in Jenison, Mich. The meet event lasted from Wednesday, Feb. 9, to Saturday, Feb. 12. The ’Cats used a strong last day of competition to come from 16 points down and tie the Lewis University Flyers for seventh place out of nine teams. First year head coach Heidi Voigt said she was impressed with the team’s performance at conference and has enjoyed her first season at NMU.

“You know what? It was a great season,” Voigt said. “They swam amazing, they dove great at conference and we ended up better than I expected, so that’s always wonderful.”

On Wednesday, Feb. 9, the first day of competition, the ’Cats competed in two events. Sophomore Lindsay Stedman finished 20th in the 1,000-yard freestyle with a time of 11:01.22 and junior Stephanie Rogaczewski was 24th with a time of 11:15.09. The 200-yard medley relay team consisting of sophomores Gaby Alzaga, Olga Budiansky, Lauren Cockels and Kelsey Sipple came in seventh place with a time of 1:48.11.

Thursday, Feb. 10, was day two of competition and Alzaga, Budiansky, Cockels and Sipple once again had a strong performance, taking sixth place in the 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:57.68. The 200-yard free style relay team consisting of Sipple, Cockels, Stedman and freshmen Megan Cepela took seventh place with a time of 1:39.56. It was the best time of the year for the relay teams.

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“They performed beyond my expectations,” Voigt said.

Alzaga was the Wildcats top finisher for day three of the tournament on Friday, Feb. 11, with a sixth place performance in the 100-yard backstroke, coming in with a time of 57:51.

NMU entered the final day of competition 16 points behind Lewis University for seventh place in the GLIAC. The ’Cats fought their way back in the final day of the meet and tied Lewis with big performances from both the swimmers and divers. Budiansky came in third in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:21.06. Alzaga also contributed a top five finish with her fourth place effort in the 200-yard backstroke, finishing at 2:04.33. Senior Kelli Vander Baan had a seventh place finish in the three-meter dive with a score of 391.55. Vander Baan said she was happy to see the team improve this season.

“That was so much fun to watch the girls. They have improved so much this season,” Vander Baan said. “It was even kind of emotional for me, because I saw the improvement and how well they did.”

For Vander Baan, the season continues as she qualified for Nationals in both the one- and three -meter dives. On March 8, she will travel to San Antonio, Texas, to compete. Olzaga and Budiansky are also still hopefulto qualify for nationals depending on how their times compare with two more division conference championships taking place this weekend. Vander Baan, the only senior on the team, said this has been her most memorable year at NMU.

“It’s been the best season out of all four,” Vander Baan said. “This has been an amazing season. With the new swim coach it’s just a big turn around.”

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