Cross Country team hosts U.P. Championships

Lauren Lee

The Wildcat cross country team will host their first and only home meet, the U.P. Championship at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24 at the NMU Golf Course. NMU will be hosting Michigan Tech and Gogebic at the U.P. Championship.

The ’Cats placed first out of 20 teams in the Lucian Rosa Invite at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 11 at Dannehl National Cross Country Course at the campus of University of Wisconsin-Parkside. The Michigan Tech Huskies placed 12th. Tech’s senior Deedra Irwin placed third in the invitational. NMU’s freshman Kameron Burmeister placed fifth.

Head coach Jenny Ryan said the team is having a great season.

“We knew it was going to be tough with Wayne State being so strong,” Ryan said. “We wanted to see how close we would be with them. I was expecting a good outcome and we ran even better than I expected. The outcome made us happy and excited for the rest of the season.”

Burmeister was nominated GLIAC cross country athlete other week of Oct. 1 for placing 11th in the Roy Griak Invitational Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Les Bolstad Golf Course finishing with a 22:47 time.

The Wildcats scored 115 at the Griak, their second match of the year and placed third out of 35 overall. Senior Larissa Halonen said the team is going to continue achieving great times at home for this weeks invitational.

“We are hoping to carry our momentum from our recent win in Kenosha into the home meet and have more great performances,” Halonen said. “It will be a nice break from traveling and an advantage to be on familiar ground at our home course. Hopefully we will see some local supporters out cheering us on.”

Junior Abby Roche said the team has high hopes for the remainder of their season.

“This is the last race that we will run as a full squad before our top runners advance to conference, regionals and most likely nationals. This race serves as a chance to come together as a team and just have fun,” Roche said. “Regionals hasn’t just been in our mind since the beginning of season or even since summer training began, it’s something we have been actively thinking about ever since we missed nationals by one place last year. Putting in the miles, coming to practice with smiles on our face and banding together as a team has helped us prepare so far. We are just excited to get to regionals and show everyone what we have been doing in and out of practice for the past year.”

Last season, NMU placed first at the meet with runners placing in the top seven spots, giving them a perfect score of 15. Michigan Tech finished second, and Lake Superior State finished third. Gogebic Community College ran in the invitational as well but did not have a team score.

Junior Megan Edic took first place for the Wildcats, finishing the 4km race with a 14:41.3 time. Junior Mary Kate Cirelli finished three tenths of a second behind Edic with a 14:41.6 time. Ryan said the team can’t wait to compete at home.

“It’s always nice to run at home we don’t have to do a long travel and have the support of the community families and university,” Ryan said “It’s supposed to be a beautiful day outside and it’s a great spectator course with a great atmosphere. A lot of people will be there watching. With us being nationally ranked, we look forward to having people watch what we can do and see us compete.”