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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.

NMU CARES — President Brock Tessman shares his feelings on the universitys new CARE Team. Photo Courtesy of Northern Michigan University
Letter to the Editor — Our New CARE Team
Brock TessmanFebruary 23, 2024

Swimmers prep for GLIAC Championship

The ’Cats had a winning winter break as they beat the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Jan. 6 (146-96) and 7 (209-50) in Wisconsin.

The team competed in the Wildcat Intrasquad meet on Jan. 14 at the PEIF. This meet is designed to be fun but also competitive so the entire team can improve.

Freshman Emily Bourguignon and junior Olga Budiansky finished first in the 50-yard backstroke and breaststroke respectively with times of 28.95 and 30.53. Freshman Debora Lawrence finished first in the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 27.09. Bourguignon and freshman Emily Brennan tied for first place in the 200-yard free style with times of 1:59.36.

Head coach Heidi Voigt was positive about the team’s success in the past weeks and said she is content with the season overall.

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“The season has been going well,” Voigt said. “We have had a couple injuries and illnesses that have slowed us down a bit, but we are gearing up for GLIAC championships.”

Brennan said the progression of the season is encouraging and the new faces have helped spark the team’s motivation.
“I think the season has gone really well so far,” Brennan said. “We brought in a lot of new freshman, which made the team a lot bigger.”

Junior captain Gabby Alzaga said she was thrilled with the team’s competitiveness and their ability to come out on top in a difficult meet in December.

“Before Christmas break, the team had strong results at the Calvin Invite, finishing third of 10 teams,” Alzaga said. “The meet was a huge confidence booster as each athlete set a personal record in at least one event.”

Brennan said the season is approaching its peak and as the team continues competing, they are able to come together.

“We are in our hardest part of the season,” Brennan said. “It has been tough being sore from working so hard, but we have each other to keep us going. Heidi helps us out as well. She encourages all of us and keeps us motivated.”

Brennan said she has been impressed with the leadership and support of her teammates.
“The leadership on the team is really good,” Brennan said. “The upperclassmen and captains really cheer everyone on and keep everyone going.”

As captain, Alzaga said she sees the leadership role on the team a bit differently than her teammates and coach.

“Our team has a great leader in our coach Heidi,” Alzaga said. “She pushes us to be the best athletes, students and people that we can be. Heidi has created a sense of togetherness among my teammates, and she is not only our coach but our friend as well.”

Voigt said the strongest asset of the team is its unity.

“The women have really bonded over the season and support each other, which helps each of them get through the tough workouts and support each other in the competitions,” Voigt said.

Brennan said the team’s ability to work together despite the fact that swimming is mostly an individual sport is impressive.
“I think the team’s strongest point is teamwork. All of us really get along well and connect,” Brennan said. “When I’m swimming a race and I see my team get up and cheer, it makes me swim much faster.”

Brennan said the team’s motto this year is “ONE. Team. Race. Chance.”

“As a team we have strived to live up to the motto stated by our team shirts,” Alzaga said. “We each believe in one another and in the team. We have continued to improve over the last two years and believe that this is the year to prove that we can compete in the GLIAC conference.”

Voigt said the GLIAC is the fastest conference in the nation, and last year there were more NCAA qualifiers from the GLIAC for swimming and diving than any other conference in the country.

“I would be very excited to finish in the top four teams in the conference and getting two or three national qualifiers,” Voigt said.

Up next for the Wildcats is the GLIAC Championship, which will take place from Feb. 8 through 11 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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