Track & Field power forward


Nate Bellville

The Northern Michigan University Women’s Track and Field team enjoyed steady success last weekend as they settled for an eighth place finish at the Golden Grizzly Invite at Oakland University in Rochester Hills.

Although only half of the team competed in the meet due to the incoming blizzard, head coach Jenny Ryan was pleased with the team’s performances.

“I was very happy, even though a few athletes stayed home. With our times changing for the best, we’re getting a lot better results,” Ryan said.
Senior distance runner Abby Cook, who notched a fourth place finish in the 800-meter run, said the meet was fun to compete in as a team.

“It was a really cool meet, a lot of our girls ran well individually and the weather cooperated throughout. It was a good weekend,” Cook said.
Last weekend, the team earned three total victories competing against a field of 16 teams.

Junior sprinter Jenna Long landed first place for the third straight week in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash races. In the 200-meter event, fellow junior Paige Dutcher finished second behind Long, while freshman Annicka McDonald finished in fifth.

NMU’s final win at Oakland came courtesy of senior Vivian Hett, her first career victory in a track event. Hett won the 3,000-meter steeplechase race, clocking at 11:04.95, just a second shy of recording her own provisional mark. Two more Wildcats finished in the top five behind Hett, including sophomore Hannah Torvi as the runner-up and junior Maddy Waters in 4th place.

Even with only three team wins and a limited roster, Cook believes that those results can help the team prepare for bigger meets later in the season.

“We did miss our top high jumper, triple jump, and a few others, but there was some good races. Those results will help us gain confidence and get ready for the GLIACs,” Cook said.

A couple Wildcat distance runners also competed in the Bison Outdoor Classic at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. One athlete would go to secure a provisional during the meet.

Senior Kameron Burmeister’s first meet of the season was highlighted by a fifth-place finish in the 10,000-meter run at a time of 35:13.14. The time would extend her own school record by 30 seconds and ranks fourth best in Division II.

Sophomore Katelyn Smith finished 44th overall last weekend in the 5,000-meter run, improving her personal-best time of 17:36.35.

“It was fun for Katelyn and I to get out of the Midwest with new runners to compete with,” Burmeister said.

One more meet stands before the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (GLIAC) Outdoor Championships as the team travels to the Al Owens Classic at Grand Valley State University in Allendale this weekend.

“I’m expecting more great competition. It gives us a chance to push us go higher,” Ryan said. We’ll hope for better weather in the process.”