Track team hits the road to Hillsdale

Lauren Lee

The Northern Michigan University track and field team kicked off their outdoor season winning seven events at both meets this past weekend at the St. Norbert Twilight meet and UW-Whitewater.

The ’Cats placed second out of six teams at the St. Norbert Twilight Thursday, April 2 at Schneider Stadium in De Pere, Wis.

Assistant coach Alex Carradine said he’s seeing great improvements from the Wildcats this season.

“The newcomers have given us needed depth in several areas,” Carradine said. “As a group the team is ahead of where it was this time last year. The GLIAC is a very large track and field conference, so the team wants to remain in the upper half and push for a top five finish at the championship meet.”

NMU sophomore Jasmine Williams not only took first place in the discus event with a 156-11 throw, but also set an NCAA provisional qualifying mark, breaking her own record, which was also an NMU record.

The ’Cats took first and second place in the 100 meter dash, as senior Brittni Wirtz finished with a 12.31 time.

Sophomore Avadon James came in at 12.32. Two NMU freshmen also took first in two separate races, as Kieren Becker clocked in at 2:22.17 in the 800 meter run while Kameron Burmeister won the 3,000 meter run with a 10:23.15 time.

The next day NMU took fourth out of eight teams at the UW-Whitewater Invite, taking another seven wins in different events.

Wirtz took first place again at the 100 meter dash, cutting her time down by .22 milliseconds, coming in at 12.31.

Avadon finished in second at this meet as well with a 12.23 time. NMU will head to the Hillsdale Invitational at noon Saturday, April 11 at the campus of Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich.

Head coach Jennifer Ryan said the ’Cats will face a higher level of competition this weekend.

“The level of competition will be much higher than what we have seen so far this outdoor season,” Ryan said. “This will be our first meet where we will be competing against more of our GLIAC Conference teams. It will give our athletes a chance to really step up as we will be seeing some very great performances. It will also give us a chance to see where our competitors are at.”

Grand Valley State University and Ferris State University will be competing at the Hillsdale Invitational as well.

The other teams have yet to be announced.

Sophomore Shannon Flynn said the ’Cats are looking forward to the level of competition they will be facing this weekend.

“We are expecting to have great competition,” Flynn said. “[These teams] are one of the best schools in our conference so this will be an excellent meet to see how we stack up in the GLIAC.”