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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.

Photo courtesy of NMU Athletics
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Athlete claims early NCAA national qualifying time

The Wildcats traveled to the University of Wisconsin-Stout to compete in a track and field open Saturday, Jan. 25 at Johnson Fieldhouse.

Head coach Chereé Hicks said the team finished the weekend with several outstanding performances to represent the Wildcats.

Sophomore Melaina Mrozek (left) finished second in pole vault at Northern Michigan University’s 2013 indoor meet. At the 2014 UW-Stout Open, sophomore Catherine Swiderski (right) finished third in the 3,000-meter run. (NW File Photo)
Sophomore Melaina Mrozek (left) finished second in pole vault at Northern Michigan University’s 2013 indoor meet. At the 2014 UW-Stout Open, sophomore Catherine Swiderski (right) finished third in the 3,000-meter run. (NW File Photo)

“We had a good weekend as a team,” Hicks said. “We continue to see courageous performances by all of the team members.”

Taking two first place victories, junior Christina Toogood won the one-mile run with a time of 5:03.29 and won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:19.46.

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Toogood claimed an NCAA national provisional qualifying time with her time in the mile.

Hicks said the team witnessed an impressive national-caliber performance by Toogood.

“We saw a great double performance by newcomer Christina Toogood,” Hicks said. “[Toogood] had an NCAA provisional mark in the mile run and was slightly off of a provisional qualifying time in the 800-meter run.”

Junior Olivia Howard also won two events at the meet. Howard took first in the 3,000-meter run  in 10:54.08 and in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:54.08.

Senior Sydney Schultz said the entire team performed well over the weekend.

“We had a lot of personal records,” Schultz said. “Our team really enjoys cheering everyone on, so seeing each other do well makes it a lot more fun.”

Schultz also said she has not had a lot of chances to watch the distance girls run and was very impressed by Toogood’s performance at the meet.

Junior Brittni Wirtz claimed a first place finish for NMU.

Wirtz won the 60-meter dash in a time of 7.85 seconds. She also placed third in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.62 seconds.

Freshman Avadon James finished behind Wirtz in the 60-meter dash in third place.

Juniors Chelsea Farquhar and Larissa Halonen finished third and fourth place in the mile run, respectively.

Finishing third in the 3,000-meter run was sophomore Catherine Swiderski with a time of 11:42.54.

Junior Emily Allen also had a third place finish in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 19:37.97.

Schultz finished third in the 400-meter run (1:01.66) and sophomore Jaylee Brown took sixth in the 800-meter run (2:30.67).

Schultz said the team is focused on performing better at each meet to prepare for the larger meets at the end of the season.

“Every week, everyone hopes to keep cutting seconds, or tenths of seconds, off their time,” Schultz said. “[We do this] so by the GLIAC conference meet we are all running the times we are capable of running.”

The GLIAC conference indoor championships are scheduled for  Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2. The outdoor championships are not set until late April.

Senior Cheyenne Stewart and junior Ebony Young led NMU in the field events at UW-Stout.

Stewart took first in the long jump with a 5.51-meter jump and placed second in the triple jump with 11.19 meters.

Young won the triple jump with 11.38 meters and placed third in the long jump with a distance of 5.20 meters.

Hicks said the ’Cats are looking forward to their future meets.

“After the performances we have had in the last two meets, we as a team can go forward confidently into our next three competitions,” Hicks said. “[In our next three competitions] we will compete against more of our GLIAC conference counterparts.”

The Wildcats will travel to Saginaw Valley State University to compete at the Cardinal Invite.

The meet is scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31.

“In the upcoming weeks, we will have a better gauge of where we are competitively as a team on the conference and national level,” Hicks said. “We [will] continue to prepare for our indoor season’s postseason action. [The postseason action] culminates with our GLIAC conference championships in the last weekend in February and our NCAA championships in mid-March.”

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