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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Ryley Wilcox
Ryley Wilcox
News Editor

I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able...

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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.

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’Cats take third place at GLIAC finals

After four days of competing on the road, the NMU swimming and diving team concluded their appearance at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship with a third-place finish against nine other teams.

Senior Gabby Alzaga took second place with her teammates in Friday’s 400-yard medley relay. She also took seventh in the 200-yard backstroke.

The Wildcats travelled to Canton, Ohio on Wednesday, Feb. 6 to compete in the 2013 GLIAC Championship.

The ’Cats accumulated 512 points during the four-day event, defeating seven other teams, such as Grand Valley State University (465.5), Hillsdale College (359.5) and Ashland University (338.5).

NMU head coach Heidi Voigt also claimed the title of “Dewey Newsome” Coach of the Year following Saturday’s finals.

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Voigt said her team performed better than they have in recent championships to take third place and capitalized on their performances at the end of the week.

“We finished in our highest place in a long time,” Voigt said. “As the events went on, we just kept getting better and better. The girls swam great.”

The ’Cats competed in 42 events during the competition, taking third behind second-place Indianapolis (554.5) and first-place Wayne State (861.5). The team also acquired two GLIAC champions after the third day.

“We were placing highly in a lot of different events,” Voigt said. “We had four athletes who finished in the top 16 in the breaststroke, and (sophomore) Madisen Sechena had the meet of her life in the 400-yard medley.”

On Friday, Feb. 8, Sechena took first place in the 400-yard individual medley, breaking a school record with a time of 4:27.61 and becoming a GLIAC Champion. Sechena’s performance qualified for an NCAA B cut time.

“I did a lot better than I did last year,” Sechena said. “Still, everyone contributed throughout the team. We faced a lot of good teams.”

Freshman Crystal Bennet earned a first place finish in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 55.57 seconds, breaking a school record. She also placed fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke. Both events earned Bennet two NCAA B cut times.

Another school record was broken in Friday’s 400-yard medley relay, as senior Gabby Alzaga, Sechena, Bennet and sophmore Debbie Lawrence earned a B qualifying time of 3:49.01.

On Saturday, sophomore Molly Kearney took second place in the three-meter dive with a score of 447.85.

Sechena competed in the 200-meter breaststroke, taking third place with a time of 2:18.92.

Sechena said she came into all of her events focused, and everyone on the team did their part to prepare for the championship.

“The team, as a whole, did extremely well,” Sechena said. “A lot of people had some of their best times, and everyone came together really well. I don’t think I could have asked for that much more last week.”

Several athletes earned NCAA B cut times as they passed a certain time or requirement in order to make it into the possible invite list for the NCAA Championship.

Alzaga contributed another second-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke, earning a time of 2:02.41 and an NCAA B cut time.

Sophomore Emily Bourguignon took seventh in the same event, followed by sophomore Taylor Grimm (10th). Grimm also competed in the 200-yard butterfly, placing 11th. Lawrence, Bourguignon, sophomore Tara Dowling and Bennet competed in the 400-yard freestyle relay, placing fourth with a time of 3:29.88.

Lawrence also competed in the 200-meter breaststroke, along with freshman Caitlyn Brendan. Both athletes earned NCAA B cut times.

Sophomore Jordan Iverson earned a B cut time when she finished fifth in the 1650-yard freestyle (17:36.27).

Voigt said many members of the team are waiting to see if they qualify for the NCAA Championship.

“After all of those performances, we are just playing a waiting game,” Voigt said. “We should know in about 10 days. Kearney is already qualified, and we are looking at a few more who have great chances.”

The Wildcats are awaiting final word on which athletes qualify for the NCAA Championships.

Athletes who qualify will hit the road on Tuesday, March 5 to travel to Cleveland, Ohio.

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