Runners capture U.P. championship

MIDWEST+REGIONAL+CAPS+SEASONS+END%E2%80%94The+Wildcats+finish+its+season+with+an+11th+place+finish+at+the+Midwest+Regional.+Photo+courtesy+of+NMU+Athletics.

MIDWEST REGIONAL CAPS SEASON’S END—The Wildcats finish its season with an 11th place finish at the Midwest Regional. Photo courtesy of NMU Athletics.

Sadie Brink

The Wildcats Cross Country team captured the U.P. Championship, defeating Michigan Tech (MTU) on Friday, Oct. 18. NMU took the top six spots in the race at the NMU Golf Course, and Coach Jenny Ryan thought her team ran well.

“The U.P. Championships went well, the weather was great and the team ran very well,” Ryan said. “ The meet gave us a chance to run at home, we were able to build confidence and momentum going into this weekend.”

Sophomore Anna Kelley won the race for the ‘Cats, her first place time of 19:27.7 paced the field. The youth movement continued for NMU, as freshmen Meghan Langworthy, Kimberly Carviou and Caroline Vegeberg rounded out second through fourth places in the event with times of 19:33.1, 19:41.5 and 19:43.1, respectively. In fifth place was sophomore Katrina Salmen, crossing the line at 19:43.8, and freshman Morgan Lyon was in sixth with a time of 19:56.1. 

Freshman Emily Sterling made the cut for the top 10 for the Wildcats, finishing in 10th and dashing across the finish line in 20:11.13. Sophomore Aubrey Friedrich wasn’t too far behind, finishing in 14th place with her time of 20:34.8. The success in the meet for NMU continued, as two more runners placed in the top 20. Sophomore Chrysanthe Patselas and freshman Katie Cleven finished next to each other in 17th and 18th place, and with times of 21:07.2 and 21:28.4, respectively. 

Northern also swept places 23rd through 26th with sophomore Carrie Duerksen, juniors Holly Blowers and Victoria Harris and freshman Delaney Pickett. Rounding out the runners for the ‘Cats in the meet were sophomores Sydnee Ormsbee and Hannah Jones, as they finished in 30th and 31st, respectively.

Ryan praised her runners who finished towards the top of the leaderboard, especially her young runners since most of the experienced runners on the team rested to get ready for the GLIAC Championships. The conference meet is fast approaching on Saturday, Oct. 26, but Ryan reflected on the long season and how far her team has come.

“The team continues to get stronger and faster, the bond and culture has also grown to help them perform at their best,” Ryan said.

The team has put in a season’s worth of training and effort in for this meet, and Ryan likes where her team is going into the tough contest.

“We are approaching the meet in a positive way, using everything we learned through the season to get to the next level,” Ryan said. “Right now our fitness level is high and our mental attitude is very strong at this point.”

Ryan said that everyone needs to race well to have a chance, especially the 3-7 runners. Ryan added that they need to fill the gap to their top two runners to do their best.

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is the clear favorite to repeat as GLIAC champions, but Ryan talked more the competiveness in the rest of the pack including Wayne State University (WSU), Saginaw Valley State (SVSU) and Michigan Tech (MTU). Ryan said it will be a close race between those four schools for second place in the meet. Ryan hopes to come out on top, but is expecting to fall right in the middle of that front-running pack.

As the ‘Cats go into the last two meets of the season, the team hopes to finish out these races on top. This weekend’s GLIAC Championship meet will be hosted by Purdue Northwest University (PNWU) in Westville, Indiana. The meet will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 on PNWU’s campus.