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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Caden Sierra
Caden Sierra
Sports Writer

Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

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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.

Pizza Cat Vol. 3
Deirdre Northrup-RiestererFebruary 26, 2024

Track captain models hard work for team

While many people who view world of collegiate sports become blinded by the more popular sports such as football, hockey and basketball, many people might overlook the individual talent that emerges from sports like track and field.

It takes hard work, a positive attitude and plenty of discipline to succeed in every sport, including track. One athlete has made a particularly visable effort to watchers and teammates. All of these traits can be used to describe senior track and field athlete Delaney Lovett.

Lovett grew up in Plymouth, Minn. and has been involved in track and field since her junior year of high school. However, track and field was not her first love, as Lovett said she was a gymnast for a major part of her life growing up.

“I did gymnastics for 13 years growing up and planned on going to college for that,” Lovett said. “Then, in my junior year of high school, I had a bad shoulder injury that took me out of gymnastics. So I started looking at becoming a track athlete, as most of those events don’t really involve much of your arms.”

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Lovett said it took her some time to think about what event she wanted to compete in. When she encountered the triple jump event, she said she really took an interest in it. Lovett said the unique challenge that is associated with the triple jump is what got her to stick with it.

“I went into jumping events and really found the triple jump to be my event,” Lovett said. “The long jump just didn’t appeal to me and I could never really get that right. So, I stuck with the triple jump all through high school and through college.”

Lovett said she found some success in her new sport. She earned All-Conference status during her senior season at Wayzata High School and also earned All-State status for academics.

As her high school career began to reach its end, Lovett began searching for where she would compete on the collegiate level. Lovett said she found a significant advantage when she explored Northern Michigan University as an option.

“High schools in Michigan actually don’t have the triple jump event to compete in,” Lovett said. “So when I came to NMU, I had a slight advantage because it was a much-needed position on the team.”

When Lovett arrived to Northern Michigan University, the team was managed by former head coach Tom Barnes. Lovett said she built a solid relationship with Barnes and competing for NMU under Barnes played a major role in defining Lovett.

“Tom Barnes may have been everybody’s coach but he was everybody’s friend,” Lovett said. “He not only pushed us to work hard on the track, he also focused on making us great people.

“That was his greater goal. To make us great people was more important than just making us great athletes.”

When Barnes retired at the end of last season, a lot of changes on the team took place. Lovett said a lot of emotional transitions took place when she found out the news.

“It was difficult to get adjusted to right away,” Lovett said. “We all knew he was going to retire soon, but we just didn’t know when it would happen. I kept hoping he would stay through my senior year. I wasn’t so lucky but we made do without.”

Lovett’s success didn’t pass her by with the retirement of her head coach. In her senior year, she recorded her first collegiate win in the triple jump and was fortunate enough to win at the Northern Challenge, an event that takes place at the Superior Dome and is used for the team’s senior day.

Lovett said there are many other things she will remember as she prepares to finish her final season this year.

“Getting my first win was a big deal for me but there are other things I will also remember,” Lovett said. “For example, I was able to score points for NMU in every conference meet I competed in. I am really proud to be able to say that and I believe that it makes me worth my scholarship and my place on the team.”

Lovett will be graduating on Saturday, May 4 with a major in English writing and minors in communication studies and biology. Lovett will remain in Marquette, and begin her post-college career in the medical marketing field. Lovett said the biggest piece of advice she can give her fellow Wildcats is to stay patient and focused.

“I believe it is possible to be successful in all your endeavors,” Lovett said. “If you balance your life out appropriately, it will be far less difficult to just live and enjoy your life.”

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