MARQUETTE, Mich. –The Northern Michigan University women’s outdoor track and field team is hoping for high expectations as they begin the spring portion of its season. The Wildcats look forward to challenging for the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Outdoor Track and Field Championship, after a fourth-place showing last year.
Despite placing fourth, it was NMU’s highest finish in school history. Bailey Franklin had an amazing season as she placed her name in the Wildcat record book after winning the triple jump with a leap of 37-03.00 at the GLIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Franklin was the co-Freshman of the Year for the GLIAC. Also breaking a school record was Angie Leckson in the shot put with a throw of 43-10.00 which was good for sixth place at the conference event.
NMU returns 19 student-athletes along with 22 newcomers. The freshmen are expected to make major contributions for the team this season.
Catherine Angeli is the main runner for NMU in the sprint events. Also in the sprints Brittnee Balbierz and Alyssa Erspamer will add depth for NMU. Franklin again will compete in the hurdles, high jump and triple jump.
Erin VanEnkevort and Maegan Hendershot will run the middle distance up to the distance events for the ‘Cats. Olivia Juntila along with Rita Woitas and Brittany Loomis add depth to the distance events. Also in the field events the ‘Cats will come to depend on Leckson (javelin and shot put), Krista Squiers (hammer), Karin Diebold (pole vault) and Brooke Granquist (long jump).
The ‘Cats will begin the outdoor season as they compete at the Coldwater Invitational (March 27) at Ripon College. The ‘Cats next five meets will also be on the road including two meets in Big Rapids, Mich. Next up for NMU is the Bulldog Invitational (April 10) at Ferris State.
The Wildcats will continue its road trek as they take part in the Northwood Multi Events (April 15-17) in Midland, Mich. NMU then will compete in the Gina Relays (April 24) at Hillsdale College. The ‘Cats will return to Bulldog country once more as they compete at the GLIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships (May 5-7). The Wildcats season will wrap at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships (May 27-29).
Story by Stanley Jefferson
Sports Information Director