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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Voorhees
Megan Voorhees
Assistant News Editor

Hi! I’m Megan Voorhees and I’m the Assistant News Editor at The Northwind! I was first introduced to journalism my sophomore year of high school and I’ve been in love with the profession and writing...

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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 WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Skaters place in American Cup

The USOEC speedskating team finished skating the last two meets of the season: American Cup III Feb. 4 and American Cup Final on March 4, in Midland, Mich. and Wausau, Wisc., respectively.

At American Cup III, the team had one champion on the women’s short track side, sophomore Erin Bartlett scoring just under 1,000 points ahead of the second place skater. Also placing in the top 16 spots were Alaina Fiorenza, Sarah Burg, Kelsey Schiel, Tamara Frederick and April Albanese.

The USOEC men’s short track team also placed well at American Cup III. Taking the top two spots were senior Levi Kirkpatrick and sophomore Chris Creveling, scoring only 300 points apart from each other. Placing in the top 14 after that was Kyle Haun, Barry Winslow, Brett Perry and Dan Fiorenza.

Graduate Levi Kirkpatrick was not only excited about his gold but also for a season without being personally injured even after a collision in one of the races.

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“I finished first overall at American Cup III, second in the 1500-m, fourth in the 500-m after I got taken out in the last corner, first in the 1000-m, and second in the 1500-m super final,” Kirkpatrick said. “No injuries at all, the first season I can remember that happening in a while.”

Another big finish for the USOEC was for Junior Erin Bartlett.

“After American Cup III, I was tied for first going into the American Cup Final, so there was a chance for me to make the national team,” Bartlett said.

Her training in between meets ended up paying off at the end of the American Cup Final and her season.

“At the American Cup Final, all I had to do was beat the girl I was tied with to get enough points to hold my first place ranking,” Bartlett explained. “I ended up placing high enough in races and making the national team.”

After the American Cup Final, U.S. Speedskating released final rankings for the season, and many of the USOEC athletes were on the list. For the men’s rankings, Levi Kirkpatrick placed second, and Chris Creveling placed fourth. On the women’s side, Erin Bartlett is ranked first in the nation, Tamara Fredrick ended third, and Sarah Burg seventh.

Freshman April Albanese said she was grateful to compete in the last race uninjured and now has time to recover from multiple concussions incurred over this season.

“I had such a bad racing season with all my injuries, my only goal was to finish it without an injury,” Albanese said. “It was pretty rough; each concussion took me out for a month, so it was a mental challenge for me more than a physical challenge.”

Even though she has to be a little more cautious, Albanese is still pushing herself on the team’s month off.

“I tried to take the first week off to just relax, but on the third day I found myself running a few miles,” Albanese said. “I’m addicted to working out, so it was impossible for me to actually go on a break.”

Kirkpatrick will also still be pushing himself to improve while he has down time.

“It’s definitely nice to have a break, but at the same time I’m very anxious to start training again for next year,” Kirkpatrick said. “I feel like I’m more motivated than ever and ready to continue improvements.”

Bartlett will be taking a shorter break, because she earned a spot on the U.S. National Team.

“Now I move out to Salt Lake City in May, where the national training center is,” Bartlett said. “I’m taking a year off from school, because they’re at the rink eight hours a day, so I won’t really have time for school.”

Bartlett credits the training at the USOEC for all of her success both in her sport and in academics as a member of the USOEC Academic Team.

“I started off at a small local club, and then I was able to come here where I was with people my age and at my level,” Bartlett said. “The program did everything I was hoping it would … to someday meet my goal of making the national team, and now I’m there.”

The team starts their summer training in June but will be cross-training and finishing up the semester until then. Competition starts up again in Fall 2011.

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