Runners dominate at Al Owens

Runners+dominate+at+Al+Owens%0A%0APhoto+courtesy+of+NMU+athletics

Runners dominate at Al Owens
Photo courtesy of NMU athletics

Travis Nelson

The Northern Michigan University Track and Field team traveled to Grand Valley State University (GVSU) this past weekend, where it competed in the Al Owens Classic. The Wildcats came away with three school records and two NCAA provisional marks, ultimately leading them to a second place finish. This meet marked the final full team meet for NMU before the GLIAC conference championships that begin on Wednesday, May 1.

After another successful meet, coach Jenny Ryan is excited to see what the rest of the season for her team looks like.

“Across the board, we had some great results, great times,” Ryan said. “It’s really exciting to see what we did and [I’m] looking forward to seeing what we can do at the conference championships.”

Sophomore Izabelle Peterson set school records in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes, along with earning NCAA provisional marks in both events. She placed second in the 100 with a time of 11.76 and took home first place in the 200 in 24.13.

The 4×400 relay team was victorious once again, winning the event with a time of 3:48.80. The team consisting of junior Sydney McPeters, seniors Lynsey Collins, Paige Dutcher and Shayla Huebner collected a school record in the event and captured the Wildcats’ second win in the event in as many weeks. The 4×100 relay team of Peterson, McPeters, senior Jenna Long and sophomore Lauren Alarie took home second place with a time of 46.96.

The ’Cats continued to have success with senior Michelle Juergen winning the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 5.75 inches. She then went on to place third in both the long jump and triple jump, with jumps of 18 feet, 6 inches and 38 feet, 0 inches, respectively. Sophomore Dunja Drobac finished right behind Juergen in the triple jump, placing fourth with a jump of 36 feet, 3 inches.

In the 5,000-meter run, junior Katelyn Smith cruised to a win, crossing the line in 18:20.76. NMU then went on to claim a host of second place finishes, as Dutcher and Huebner finished runner-up in both the 400-meter dash and 800-meter run. Junior Megan Martin took third in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:04.23, and junior Hannah Torvi finished with a fourth place time of 11:27.63 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Northern finished with 117.111 points as a team, resulting in a second place finish behind host GVSU. The Wildcats were able to fend off 16 other women’s teams to place second overall, despite both men’s and women’s scores being combined for a two-day combined team score.

The team is set to compete in two separate events this upcoming weekend, April 26 and 27, with some athletes traveling to Hillsdale College to compete in the Gina Relays, while others will make the trip to De Pere, Wisconsin to compete at St. Norbert College. Not every athlete will be competing this weekend with the conference championships looming, and Ryan has devised a strategy to keep her team focused until then.

“Just fine-tuning and all the little things, getting rested as much as they can with finals and everything else that’s going on,” Ryan said. “We’re getting prepared to perform our best at the conference championships.”