Cross Country team places second at GLIAC Championships

Julie Goldberg

History was made last weekend for the Northern Michigan Cross Country team as it finished second at the 2016 GLIAC Championships. Five all-GLIAC performances propelled the Wildcats to their best finish at the championship meet since 2005.

“It was very exciting,” head coach Jenny Ryan said. “The team had a great performance and every one of the team members ran well.”

For the third-straight year, junior Kameron Burmeister earned a spot on the all-GLIAC first team after finishing sixth with a time of 21:57.6.

Burmeister was joined on the all-GLIAC first team by junior Caroline Brisbois, who finished ninth with a time of 22:15.0.

“Finding out we placed second was super exciting,” Burmeister said. “We all work hard and it’s always great to see that effort pay off at big meets.”

Sophomore Sophie McDonald (17th), sophomore Abby Fifarek (19th) and junior Vivian Hett (20th) all made the all-GLIAC second team. With 69 points, the Wildcats finished second behind Grand Valley State, which finished with 35 points and beat third-place Hillsdale by seven points.

“It is very exciting for a team from Northern Michigan University to finish close to the top of the GLIAC,” Ryan said. “It is also exciting for our team to represent NMU as one of the top teams in a sport that has over 375 Division II teams in the country.”

Freshman Alexis Smith also placed in the top half of the 100-athlete field after finishing 35th. The team prepared for the race by cutting back the intensity of training and also focused on visualizing and planning their race performance, Ryan explained.

“I am very proud of everything we have accomplished this year as a team,” Ryan said. “We are all excited to see what we can do at the Regional and National Championships.”

The Wildcats will be competing next at the NCAA Midwestern Regional on Saturday, Nov. 5 in Evansville, Indiana.

“The season has been fun and exciting so far,” Burmeister said. “I, as well as my teammates, are excited to see what the rest of the season will hold.”