Track team ranked No. 17 nationally

David Pleyel

The NMU indoor track and field team competed in the Lake Superior Challenge this past Friday. Even though the event was not scored, it didn’t stop the Wildcats from breaking even more school records and racking up results so impressive that it moved the ’Cats up to 17th in the nation.

Head coach Tom Barnes said that at every meet, whether it’s scored or not, the team gives its all, and that is what makes this team special.

“We just went out there and conducted business as usual,” Barnes said. “I’m very happy with this past weekend’s meet results, and this just goes to show you that regardless if the meet is scored or not, we show up to compete. Right now we are looking forward to a few days of rest and just focus on training for the GLIAC Championships.”

Freshman Samara White also said she is very glad to get a few days to rest up, but continues to practice and remain focused for the GLIAC tournament.

“I believe if you have been working as hard as we have, you should have some down time just so your body can get rest,” White said. “Even though our practices are not as intense right now, we are still training hard and staying focused, so that when we need to perform at our best, we can go one step further.”

Samara White was second in the 55-meter dash and Katy Lafayette finished fourth. Catherine Angeli and Brittnee Balbierz finished first and second in the 200-meter dash. Katrina Lamansky was second in the 400-meter dash.

Bailey Franklin tied her school record in the 55-meter hurdles as she finished second. She ran 8.41 seconds in the preliminary heat. Jaime Roberts finished sixth in the event.

The Wildcats 4×400-meter relay team finished first with a time of 4:02.44.

Distance runners Kristina Mattson (fourth), Nora Kiilunen (seventh) and Kristen Schulz all finished in the top 10 in the 800-meter run. Kiilunen finished third in the mile with a time of 5:22.12. Schultz earned sixth, Alicia Romano was seventh and Kelsey Noah took 12th. Rita Woitas, Brittany Loomis and Sara Cousineau finished seven-eight-nine in the 3,000-meter run. Chelsea Farquhar finished third in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 19:31.84.

Jaime Roberts took first in the pole vault with a jump of 11-10, and teammate Sara Turschak was fourth. Samara White won the long jump, clearing 17-1 1/2 and Katie Searles was fifth. Five of the Wildcats were in the top 10 in the triple jump. Bailey Franklin was first, Delaney Lovett placed third, Brooke Granquist followed her up in fifth, Mariah Beaman grabbed seventh and Melissa Christensen rounded out the top 10. Beaman also earned seventh in the shot put.

The Wildcats will have a little less than two weeks off before they travel to University Center, Mich. on Friday, Feb. 25, for the GLIAC Championships. Head coach Tom Barnes said that his team is ready to compete, and he is ready to show the GLIAC what the Wildcats have to offer.

“I can see it in the way this team performs and the positive attitude this team expresses, that I have no doubt in my mind that we are going to leave our mark at the GLIAC tournament,” Barnes said.