Wildcat succeeds at NCAA Championship

Ray Bressette

Senior Cheyenne Stewart of NMU’s women’s track and field team earned All-American Status at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday, May 23 in Allendale, Mich.

Head coach Cheree Hicks said Stewart’s performance in the championship was a reflection of her great season.

“It was just how she competed all year round,” Hicks said. “She been consistent and phenomenal all season, and she’s the type of athlete that steps up to the competition she’s in. She went out the way she’s always been, staying competitive and fun to watch in a great performance.”

Stewart broke NMU’s record with a mark of 41-7 and jumping 12.67m, a foot over her qualifying mark.

Assistant coach Jenny Ryan said Stewart is a great representation of NMU.

“It’s definitely not being a track and field All-American in any of its aspects,” Ryan said. “For her to accomplish what she did was great for Northern Michigan, and it showed the world that even up here in the snow all year around, you can still compete and be the best there is across the country.”

The championship effort was the final appearance for Stewart as a Wildcat.

Stewart said maintaining focus has been key to her success during her time at NMU.

“It’s been a lot of fun and hard work at the same time,” Stewart said. “From injuries to the tough, cold winters, it’s been a battle. My biggest key has been working the hardest I possibly can.

“During vacations, a lot of people might stop eating healthy or stop training, but I always told myself I was going to keep working and stay focused. With that mindset and a good group of support from teammates and coaches, it all come together and helped get the mindset to  get good performances.”

Hicks said the team gave a memorable performance throughout the season.

“There we so many high points to the season,” Hicks said. “Cheyenne obviously gave us great performances throughout the year, but we as a team broke double digit school records, which is just crazy.

“This was a great group of people who gave it their all, and their performances will be remembered by this team for a long time.”