Sprinters face cold on the road

William Burns

The Northern Michigan University track and field team competed in Hillsdale, Mich. as the Wildcats took part in the Hillsdale Invitational and took fourth place while competing in another meet with cold temperatures.

The Wildcats competed against seven other schools including Michigan Tech, Lake Superior State, Ferris State, Grand Valley and Wayne State.

For the second week in the outdoor season, temperatures were in the 30’s and sophomore Olivia Howard said the team was able to get past the cold and have a strong performance.

“Considering the crazy spring weather we’ve had for the last two meets I thought the team performed phenomenally,” Howard said. “Everyone really looked past all of the conditions that can lead to a so-so meet and went in with great attitudes and did great in their events.”

In the field events, senior Mariah Beaman took first place in the javelin throw. Beaman performed a throw that went for 36.02 meters. The throw was more than four meters farther than Hillsdale junior Amber Mueller, who took second place.

Junior Cheyenne Stewart made the top five in the triple jump for the second weekend in a row, placing third at Hillsdale with a jump of 10.82 meters. Stewart also placed fifth in the high jump with a of leap of 1.59 meters.

In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, senior Mallory Celaya remained undefeated as she took first in the event for the second week in a row. Celaya ran for a time of 11:52.14. She was followed by fellow Wildcat junior Abby Roche, who placed second after running for a time of 12:45.81. It was also Roche’s first time competing in the event.

Roche said the steeplechase is one of the most rigorous events in track as it not only challenges your speed but your ability to overcome obstacles, as well.

“The steeplechase is a combination of endurance, technique and mental toughness,” Roche said. “It is a 3,000 meter race in which you are expected to clear four separate barriers per lap; three of those barriers are hurdles and one is a water barrier. The steeple is an unique event because you have to not only worry about your pace but also the obstacles that lie ahead.”

Sophomore Brittni Wirtz competed in the 100-meter dash and placed third after running for a time of 12.66 seconds. Wirtz also competed in the 200-meter dash and placed second after sprinting for a time of 26.99 seconds. Wirtz finshed one second behind Lewis University sophomore Megan Marchildon.

With the GLIAC Outdoor Conference Championship just two weeks away, the Wildcats have only one more meet to get ready for the conference meet. Howard said it takes work to get physically prepare for the GLIACs and even more work to get mentally prepared.

“We’re preparing physically by tapering, which is a gradual process of cutting down our training to avoid breaking down our bodies too much,” Howard said. “Mentally preparing is a little trickier with school at its peak for test, papers, presentations and other assignments. With finals right around the corner, we manage by working together to stay focused at practice and taking that time to be just athletes before going home to be students again.”

The next meet for the Wildcats will be the Al Owens Classic at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 19 in Allendale, Mich.