Track and field team prepares for home opener

Julie Goldberg

The Wildcats track & field team will host the Northern Challenge at the Superior Dome at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday,
Jan. 30.

The team will honor their senior class before the meet. Seniors Jaylee Brown, Danielle Brzezinski and Catherine Swiderski are going to be honored.

On Friday, Jan. 22, the Wildcats traveled to Saginaw Valley State University and competed in the Doug Hansen Open.

“It was a good start to the indoor season,” head coach Jenny Ryan said. “We had good results, and we competed very well.”

Junior Jasmine Williams won the weight throw with a distance of 58-1. Freshman Michelle Juergen captured the high jump crown with the height of 5-4.25.

“It felt great,”  Williams said. “I’m looking forward to what’s to come this season.”

Williams improved her provisional mark from the first meet of the season in December when she had a throw of 57-.08.25. Ryan added that Williams is 17th in the country in weight throw.

Freshman Yasmin Jelassi finished second in the 60-meter dash while junior Avadon James finished third.

The 4×400 relay team of Brzezinski, freshman Paige Dutcher, sophomore Clara Churchill and freshman Shayla Huebner finished fifth with a time of 4:05.33.

In last year’s Northern Challenge, sophomore Kameron Burmeister set a school record in the women’s 5K with a time of 17:54.13. Sophomore Ine Mylle won the women’s triple jump with a leap of 11.06
meters.

“It’s crazy because it feels like the seniors just started their collegiate careers,” Ryan said. “It’s hard to believe that this is their last season.”

Brown is from Onekama, Mich. and a mid-distance runner for the Wildcats. In the 2013-14 season, Brown ran a season-best time in the 800-meter with a time of 2:22.22. At the 2013 GLIAC Championships, Brown placed ninth in the distance medley relay.

A transfer from Michigan Tech and a sprint runner for the ’Cats, Brzezinski has several accomplishments during her time as a Wildcat. Brzezinski’s best time in the 400-meter came in the Titan Challenge last year with a time of 1:00.46. Brzezinski also finished 18th at the GLIAC Championship 1:02.40 in the 400-meter.

“This team is like a family,” Brzezinski said. “I’m going to miss it a lot. Everyone is supportive of each other.”

A distance runner for the Wildcats, Swiderski is from Lansing. Swiderski finished 27th at the indoor 2015 GLIAC Championship for the mile with her season-best time. Swiderski also finished 32nd at the outdoor 2015 GLIAC Championship in the 5,000-meter.

“This team has had a constant face of consistency since I’ve been here,” Swiderski said. “We have grown a lot in numbers, and we have more depth this year than ever.”

The Wildcats are a young team with 16 freshmen and 11 sophomores.

“It’s going to be an exciting year,” Ryan said. “The team is going to be strong in every event this season.”