NMU Cross Country Preview

Northwind Staff

By: Erin McCumons

Northern Michigan University’s cross country team will soon be starting their 2013 season, following their last season that resulted in three meet championships for the team.

During the 2012 season, the Wildcats placed fourth at the GLIAC Championships and secured an eighth place finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional Meet.

To prepare for the upcoming season, the team has been training all summer, adding harder workouts to their schedule to help trim off seconds that have kept them from placing higher in their meets.

Cross country head coach Jenny Ryan said the team has made improvements toward their race tactics.

“We’ve been working on strength and technique,” Ryan said. “(They’ve) also (worked on) how to attack the course and when to pace themselves”.

Ryan said the team this year is looking strong with many upperclassmen, although only a handful of seniors, and some new faces.

Sophomore runner Megan Edic said the team was looking to push past their results from last year and move up in their rankings. Edic also said the athletes have been running as a team for the upcoming season.

“(The best strategy for running is) just pushing as hard as I can,” Edic said. “We have a pretty good team this year, with some new freshmen and transfer students.”

Another sophomore, Mary Kate Cirelli, said this year’s team is looking well-prepared and fit, as the team worked hard to stay in shape over the summer months.

“We had a 3K time trial and you could see the girls’ solid training,” Cirelli said. “Some of the girls made new personal records which is a great way to start a season.”

The team said they have also focused on several strategies to keep the team in shape and healthy. These strategies that the team mentions include warm-ups before the runs and staying relaxed during runs.

Cirelli said the team has really focused on running form, an important aspect of the sport that not many people realize, and often take for granted.

“Increasing communication while we’re running, keeping our heads up and shoulders relaxed make all the difference,” Cirelli said. “It’s the little things that matter.”

The cross country team has a scrimmage meet at 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30 at Michigan Tech. Ryan said he plans to take advantage of the scrimmage and get the girls familiar with the course. The team will be running the same course in the near future, at this year’s GLIAC championship in October.

The ’Cats’ first official meet is the Midwest Collegiate Opener, starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14 in Kenosha, Wis.

The first and only home meet is the U.P. Championship, which takes place at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 at the NMU Golf Course.