Cross Country takes second at GLIAC: Five Wildcats earn all-conference records

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Mason Wallace

Northern Michigan University’s Cross-Country team took second at the GLIAC Conference Championship Saturday in Marquette with five runners earning all All-GLIAC Conference honors.

Senior Kameron Burmeister of Menominee, Michigan led the Wildcat pack at the Gentz Homestead Golf Course, finishing in fifth place with a time of 21:54. This marked her fourth consecutive season that she has received All-GLIAC First Team honors running for NMU.

“This journey has been so exciting and a little scary, but I feel so blessed,” Burmeister said. “I will never forget the memories that I have made over these past four years.”

NMU garnered 62 points as a team, trailing Grand Valley State University’s powerful performance taking the team crown, with 17 points and seven runners in the top ten including first through fourth.

Head coach Jenny Ryan was pleased with the overall strength of the team this season despite setbacks from injuries and illness.

“We were finally at full strength for these last couple meets,” Ryan said. “It has been fun to see how we compete with everyone running.”

Ryan also noted the absence of Burmeister will create a hole in the team for next fall’s season.

“She has been such a great leader and has shown others anything can be done with hard work,” Ryan said. “But it gives others the chance to take the lead and take over her spot.”

Sophomore Katelyn Smith of Gaylord, Michigan placed sixth with a time of 21:56.2 seconds. Smith’s performance earned her first team honors as well, after running with her career best time.

“I am really proud to see where I am this year to this same time last year,” said Smith. “I have been working extremely hard to get faster.”

Senior Vivian Hett of Burnsville, Minnesota placed 16th with a time of 22:56.80 and is a three-time second team member. Junior Sophie McDonald of Park City, Utah also made second team for the third time with her 18th place finish of 22:58.20.

Junior Abby Fifarek of Buckly, Michigan came in 22nd and received All-GLIAC honors for the second time, finishing at 23:30.20.

Junior Kieren Becker of Fowler, Michigan and sophomore Hanna Torvi of St. Paul, Minnesota finished at 24th and 25th with times of 23:42 and 23:43. Junior Maddy Walters of Madison, Wisconsin, junior Kalina Pfannenstiel of Traverse City, Michigan and freshman Ellise Longley of Bloomington, Minnesota finished 36th, 49th and 59th.

The Wildcats compete next on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the NCAA II Midwest Region Championships at Cedarville University in Ohio.