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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 WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Wildcats finish fifth in GLIAC

The Northern Michigan University women’s cross country team looks ahead to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional in Kenosha, Wis. in two weeks, after finishing fifth in the GLIAC Championships on Saturday, Oct. 26 on the campus of Michigan Tech.

The Wildcats finished the day with 152 points, with two runners finishing in the top 30. NMU was led by sophomore Mary Kate Cirelli, who finished in 22:57.2, good enough for a finish in place 15 for the day.  Cirelli missed an All-Conference spot by one finish, which is awarded to the top 14 runners in the meet.

Head coach Jenny Ryan said she was happy with Cirelli’s performance on Saturday.

“She was very impressive all afternoon,” Ryan said. “She beat her record on the track by over a minute, and really led by example.”

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Sophomore Megan Edic was next in line for the ’Cats, who finished 27, crossing the finish line in 23:34.8.

Junior Olivia Howard finished at 34 for NMU, along with junior Christina Toogood at 37, senior Jordyn Ross at 39, junior Larissa Halonen at 41 and junior Chelsea Farquhar at 70.

Howard said the team was able to push through all the adversity and give a great performance.

“Everyone came in focused and put the weather aside, pushed through the hills and came out successful,” Howard said. “Just finishing that course is an accomplishment. To finish the way we did was huge.”

Grand Valley State won the GLIAC Championship with 30 points, followed by Saginaw Valley State who finished second with 84 points, Malone at third with 113 points and Hillsdale in fourth with 136 points.

Ryan said it’s good for the team to race in one of the countries’ hardest conferences.

“It’d be nice to be in a lesser conference and have an easier bid at the NCAA Championship, but we would be a big fish in a small pond,” Ryan said. “Playing in a conference with Grand Valley really motivates our racers to step up their game and prepare even harder.”

The Wildcats will travel to Kenosha, Wis. for the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional meet on Saturday, Nov. 9, where they will try and earn a spot in the NCAA Division II National Championship. Ryan said she knows the team has room for improvement moving into next weekend.

“We’re improving more each week as the season progresses,” Ryan said. “It’ll be a harder week of training, trying to get players up to their peak of the season and try and earn a shot at the national championship. We’ve competed well within our conference, now we have to see how we stand with teams from other conferences.”

Howard said the team feels confident as they look forward to the meet.

“If we stay focused the next two weeks, we’re going to do great,” Howard said. “In years past, players have all peaked early in the season, but nobody has hit their peak yet and it’s coming, which makes it exciting.”

The Wildcats hope to have a better performance in the Midwest Regional meet than they did last year, where their season came to an end finishing in eighth out of 23 with 245 points. Ryan said she feels the team is feeding off last year’s defeat as inspiration to try and finish this meet with a different result.

“I feel like this year’s team is a lot stronger than last year’s team that finished in eighth,” Ryan said. “We were good, but this year we’re even stronger and better.”

Jordan said she feels the team’s familiarity with the track will help them succeed and reach the next level.

“We’ve had a few more chances to run this course this year instead of coming in cold like we did last year,” Jordan said. “It’s going to help us get further than we did last year. I know we can do it.”

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