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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 Wiertella April 30, 2024

’Cats cruise to fourth- place finish at conference

The NMU women’s cross country team has been able to use depth to their advantage all season and it showed at the GLIAC Championships on Saturday, Oct. 20.

The ’Cats top five runners all finished within 16 spots of each other as the team captured fourth place out of 16 teams.

It was the highest the team has finished since head coach Jenny Ryan has been at the helm and she said she was pleased with the results.

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“It was a great performance,” Ryan said. “You know the GLIAC is really a strong conference, so I knew we’d have a chance to be anywhere from third to seventh place. So finishing fourth was a great accomplishment.”

Junior Mandy Dye was the top finisher for the ’Cats with a time of 22 minutes, 14 seconds, good for 19th place.

It was also a personal best for Dye. Junior Mallory Celaya finished second for NMU in 22nd place and three seconds behind Dye at 22:17.4.

“Both Mallory and Mandy have been doing so well all year,” Ryan said. “Mandy has the speed so at the end she was able to gain some more spots and have that great finish.”

The ’Cats packed in four more runners right behind Dye and Celaya.

Sophomore Larissa Halonen finished 31st (22:28.9), freshman Megan Edic was 32nd (22:30.5) and Sophomore Katie Granquist was 35th (22:31.4) followed by freshman Mary Kate Cirelli (22:31.8).

Halonen said the group aspect of the Wildcats has been pivotal to their success as a team and individuals.

“It is incredible to run in a race with so many wonderful teammates right beside you,” Halonen said. “The encouragement is constant out on the course and we are always moving up as a pack, which I believe is a little daunting to some of the other teams.”

The ’Cats next step is regionals where they’re looking for a top five finish in order to make it to the NCAA National Championship.

The ’Cats are currently ranked sixth in their region, which consists of a combination of the GLIAC and the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

Ryan said the team’s depth could be a difference maker with a bigger field of competition.

“I think that will make a difference because with more athletes the field will be bigger so that will give some of the other teams who have runners behind us more points which will help us,” Ryan said. “It’s going to be tight, it’s going to be tough but we definitely have a shot if they ran like they did.”

NMU has a week off of competitions before their regional race. Halonen said the team is working to maintain.

“We are tapering a bit in our training as we head into the final two weeks before the regional race,” Halonen said. “The last few days of training will focus on specific details that play a role in the race; namely starting, finishing and mental strategy.

The NCAA Midwest Regional is held in Kenosha, Wis. The race gets underway at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3.

NMU already ran the course earlier this season and Ryan thinks that will benefit her team.

“I think that’s a really good course for us,” Ryan said. “It’s a fast, rolling course and most of the athletes have been there at least once and a lot of them have ran there, two, three, four times so they’re comfortable and know the course really well.”

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