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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.

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NMU takes third place in Karl Schlender Invite

Several ’Cats finished in top places at the Karl Schlender Track and Field Invitational.

Although host Wisconsin-Whitewater captured first place, the ’Cats placed third out of seven teams.

One of the athletes, junior Ebony Young, placed first in the triple jump with a jump of 11.11 meters. Young also placed second in the long jump with a jump of 5.5 meters and placed third in the 60-meter hurdles, finishing in 9.79 seconds.

“I think I did OK,” Young said. “I could have done way better.”

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Young said one of the reasons she felt she did not perform up to her expectations is because of her scheduled event times. Young participated in four events.

“My jumps were OK,” Young said. “But my hurdle race wasn’t what I expected.”

Head coach Chereé Hicks said the team performed well and a lot of people stepped up. Hicks is in her second year as head coach at NMU. Hicks spent 11 years as an assistant track and field coach at the University of Miami, Syracuse and Portland State.

Young was one of a handful of Wildcats to place first at the meet. Junior Brittni Wirtz finished first in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.84 seconds, breaking a facility record.

Junior Caitlin Keskey came in first for the 600-meter run with a time of 1:49.11. Keskey was also part of a medley relay team that placed second at the event with a time of 13:55.53.

Keskey said the women were anxious for their first meet, but it went well.

“I think we were all surprised on how well we felt,” Keskey said. “It will be fun to see what we will accomplish for the rest of the season.”

Hicks said the ’Cats will continue to get better every week in preparation for the GLIAC Championships. Hicks was an NCAA runner-up in the shot put and discus as a student-athlete at Syracuse University. She was also an Academic All-American and an All-American in discus when she competed at California State University-Northridge.

“I think everybody left the meet with something they wanted to work on,” Hicks said. “That was the goal.”

The ’Cats also had many underclassmen place at the meet, including freshman Shannon Flynn, 11th in the one-mile run. Sophomore Jaylee Brown came in fourth in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:29.62, while redshirt freshman Abby Roche was part of the medley relay team that placed second. Other members of the medley relay team were junior Larissa Halonen, Brown and Keskey.

Keskey said the team had a smaller group, due to athletes not being able to travel.

“I think we need to work on the little things so that all our athletes can be traveling together,” Keskey said. “We need to gain experience with our competition.”

Hicks said the ’Cats have a very large team, so every athlete is working on their specific event.

“It’s a team where everybody runs different events,” Hicks said. “We are working on all the quirks that we learned from last week to improve upon them for weeks to come.”

The ’Cats will not be back in the Superior Dome until Saturday, Feb. 1 for the Northern Challenge.

The next meet will be on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

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