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The North Wind

The North Wind

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Dallas Wiertella
Dallas Wiertella
Multimedia Editor

Through my experience here at the North Wind I have been able to have the privilege of highlighting students through all forms of multimedia journalism. Whether I'm in front or behind the camera, I aim...

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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

Outdoor season deterred by weather

The Northern Michigan University track and field team hit the road over the weekend to compete in lower Michigan, scoring several top-20 finishes after the events were moved indoors due to inclement weather.

The Wildcats hit the road to compete in the Al Owens Classic on Friday, April 19. Grand Valley State University, which hosted the meet, moved the event indoors after freezing rain and snow left a sheet of ice on the track the night before. Since the team is competing in the outdoor season, the move to compete indoors made all times illegal and, therefore, not count for the record books.

Sophomore Brittni Wirtz took second place finish in the 60-meter dash after running the event 8.01 seconds and also took 11th in the 200-meter dash after completing the dash in 26.87 seconds. Wirtz said although the times didn’t count for her, she was still pleased with the overall results and was happy to see her team succeed.

“The whole outdoor season has not been in our favor as far as how the weather has been,” Wirtz said. “We have only had two outdoor meets so far, but I think the team handled it well and performed well for what we have been given. Moving an outdoor meet indoor was definitely a first for everyone on the team but a lot of girls ran their best times so we were happy even though the times didn’t count.”

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In the 5,000-meter run, three Wildcats made top-10 finishes with sophomore Olivia Howard taking third place after running for a time of 18:19.73 while junior Chelsea Farquhar and sophomore Emily Allen took eighth and ninth place. Farquhar ran for a time of 18:37.30 and Allen ran for a time of 18:42.85.

In the field events, junior Cheyenne Stewart took second place in the long jump after leaping for a distance of 5.46 meters. Sophomore Mary Dillow was the only other Wildcat to compete in a field event as she took 17th in the discus throw. Dillow’s throw went for a distance of 30.56 meters.

Assistant coach Jenny Ryan said while she wasn’t entirely happy with the decision to move the meet indoors, she understands and respects the call when the athlete’s safety comes into question.

“I took a quick look at the track at the time we were scheduled to compete and thought maybe we could delay the event instead of moving it indoors,” Ryan said. “The conditions weren’t great anyways and the safety of these ladies is the team’s first priority. So in the end, I stand by the decision and I personally believe the right call was made.”

In the 3,000 meter run three ’Cats would place in the top 15 as senior Mallory Celaya took sixth place after running for a time of 10:42.03. Junior Evelyn Ruiz placed ninth after running the event in 11:05.48 and redshirt freshman Abby Roche placed 13th after finishing with a time of 11:54.33.

With final exams just around the corner, the Track ’Cats get a week off before heading to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships. Roche said while all the stress from school and exams can wear her down, she knows that the team is always there to support her.

“I would definitely say that my sanity is kept in check because of the tight knit group of teammates and my very supportive event coaches,” Roche said. “I can look forward to having my team and coaches helping me through it.”

Ryan said this is a challenging time for coaches with all the stress coming from exams and the upcoming conference championship and that training the team this week is going to be a little easier on the ’Cats.

“There definitely has to be some flexibility for our ladies,” Ryan said. “We are tapering down our workouts and giving the team more breaks than usual so that they can stay on top of their studies. Then the girls have to take all of their exams on Monday and Tuesday of exam week and then we leave Marquette Tuesday afternoon.”

The Wildcats will be hitting the track once again in the GLIAC Outdoor Championship at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1 in Ashland, Ohio.

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