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NMU sprinters at the GLIAC Championship.
NMU sprinters at the GLIAC Championship.

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University indoor track and field team recently ended the 2010-11 season. NMU was ranked in the top 25 in the nation—climbing as high as No. 17—and third in the region while breaking 11 school records and having the best finish in school history at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships. Bailey Franklin and Jaime Roberts qualified for the NCAA Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Three Wildcats earned USTFCCCA All-Region. Catherine Angeli was ranked in the top five in the 60m dash and the 200m dash. Franklin was named All-Region in the high jump, triple jump and pentathlon. Roberts was selected in the pole vault.

The season kicked off at The Opener at St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn. on December 4. The ‘Cats had first-place finishes in eight events and had 27 top five finishers. Colby West finished first in the 300 meter dash with a time of 43.03. Sara Turschak (43.69) was second. Angeli won the 55 meter dash with a time of 7.39. Samara White (7.50) was second, Brittnee Balbierz (7.51) was third, and Katy Lafayette (7.55) was fourth. Angeli (25.77) was second in the 200 meter dash, while Balbierz (26.51) was third, Lafayette (26.81) was fourth and Mariah Beamen (28.41) was ninth. NMU had five runners in the top 10 in the 55 meter hurdles. Bailey Franklin came in second with the 55 hurdles and set the school record at 8.52 seconds. Melissa Christensen (8.95) was third, Stephanie Hahn (9.19) was eighth, Katie Searles (9.27) was ninth and Brooke Granquist (9.33) was tenth. NMU’s two relay teams finished first in the 4x400 meter relay (4:13.15) and the 4x200 meter relay (1:47.31). Kristina Mattson was second in the 600 meter run with a time of 1:42.32. Sydney Schultz (1:46.42) was third and Katrina Lamansky (1:47.31) was fourth. In the field events, Franklin won the high jump while Granquist was second and Christensen was third. Roberts won the pole vault. Christensen finished first in the long jump. NMU finished one, two, three in the triple jump with Franklin, Granquist and Delany Lovett respectively.

NMU won the Lake Superior State triangle over LSSU and Northwood in late January. Brittnee Balbierz was the top finisher in the 300 dash with a new school record time of 42.93. Christensen (8.93) and Roberts (8.95) finished one and two in the 55 hurdles. Angeli set a school record in the 55 dash finishing first with a time of 7.35 seconds. Brittany Loomis and Sara Cousineau led the way in the 3,000 run. Mattson (1:43.45) and Lamansky (1:45.60) finished tops in the 600 run. The ‘Cats had three runners finish at the top in the 1,600 run led by Kristen Schultz (5:24.24). Nora Kiilunen (5:24.78) was second and Mandy Dye (5:25.00) was third. Franklin finished first in the high jump, clearing 5-5.75. Angeli broke the 55 dash mark at the Lake Superior Challenge with a time of 7.35 seconds.

The ‘Cats hosted their lone home meet in the Superior Dome the following day. Franklin qualified for Nationals in the high jump, clearing 5-8.75.Roberts cleared 12-3.25 to qualify as a provisional. NMU controlled the 55 dash with Lafayette taking first place with a time of 7.42 while teammate Samara White was second (7.54) and Balbierz came in third (7.67). For the third year in a row Angeli took the 200 dash with a clocking time of 25.96. Colby West took first in the 300 dash (43.66) while Sydney Schultz (1:02.38) and Sara Turschak (1:03.08) took second and third respectively in the 400 dash. Mattson took first in the 800 meter run (2:26.96) and Kelsey Noah (5:33.07) finished third in the mile. Rita Woitas won the 3,000 (11:13.51) while Roberts took second place in the 55 hurdles with a time of 8.84 seconds. NMU dominated the relay races taking first place in all three races. The 4x200 relay finished with a school record time of 1:45.60, the 4x400 ran a 4:12.09 and NMU’s Distance Medley relay team ran a 13:05.67. Christensen took second in the long jump with a leap of 16-14 while teammate Samara White was third. Franklin took second in the triple jump with a mark of 37-6 while Mariah Beaman was third.

Four school records were set in the Superior Dome at the Northern Challenge. Angeli ran a 25.77 in the 200 dash, setting a new time on a 200 meter track. Franklin set the triple jump mark at 39-0.25. Balbierz set the 300 record with a time of 42.93. The 4x200 relay team of Angeli, Balbierz, Samara White and Katy Lafayette set the record at 42.93 seconds.

The Northern Michigan women’s track and field team competed at the Wisconsin Women’s Invitational in Madison, Wis. on January 29. The ‘Cats competed against Division I athletes from five schools in the Midwest, finishing sixth. Franklin was NMU’s top finisher as she was second in the pentathlon with 3,335 points and qualified as a provisional for nationals in the event. She also broke the school record that she set last season in the pentathlon. Granquist (2,954) and Christiensen (2,939) were fourth and fifth in the event. Roberts finished third in the pole vault, clearing 11-10, Franklin was seventh in the triple jump 36-4.25 and Samara White was eleventh in the long jump with a jump of 15-11.75. Angeli finished fifth in the 200 dash (25.66) and seventh in the 60 dash (7.94). Katy Lafayette was 11th in the 200 dash (26.82) and Balbierz was 13th (26.96).

NMU placed third at the Pointer Invitational with a team score of 92.6 on February 5. The Wildcats broke two more school records and had 10 performances finishing in the top five. Angeli was first in the 200 dash (25.51) and broke her own school record in the 55 dash with a time of 7.22, good for second. Samara White (5th), Balbierz (6th) and Lafayette (7th) also placed in the event. Franklin finished second in the 55 hurdles with a school record time of 8.41 seconds. Christenson finished third in the event. Franklin cleared 5-5.75, finishing tied for first in the high jump. Christenson finished seventh. Jaime Roberts cleared six more inches than her nearest competitor, winning the pole vault with a jump of 11-7.75. Franklin jumped 36-3 in the triple jump for second place.

At the Lake Superior Challenge (Feb. 11) on the campus of St. Scholastica, Franklin tied her school record in the 55 hurdles as she finished second. She ran 8.41 seconds in the preliminary heat. Roberts finished sixth in the event. White was second in the 55 dash and Lafayette finished fourth. Angeli and Balbierz finished one and two in the 200 dash. Lamansky was second in the 400 dash. The Wildcats 4x400 relay team finished first with a time of 4:02.44. Distance runners Mattson (4th), Kiilunen (7th) and Schultz all finished in the top ten in the 800 run. Kiilunen finished third in the mile with a time of 5:22.12. Schultz was sixth, Alicia Romano was seventh and Kelsey Noah 12th. Rita Woitas, Brittany Loomis and Sara Cousineau finished seven, eight, nine in the 3,000 m run. Chelsea Farquhar finished third in the 5,000 meter run with a time of 19:31.84. Roberts took home the pole vault and teammate Turschak was fourth. White won the long jump, clearing 17-1.5 and Katie Searles was fifth. Five Wildcats were in the top ten in the triple jump as Franklin was first. Lovett (3rd), Granquist (5th), Mariah Beaman (7th) and Christensen (10th) also had good jumps for NMU. Beaman was also seventh in the shot put.

NMU had its best finish in school history at the 2011 GLIAC championship on February 25. The Wildcats finished third, scoring 64 points. Grand Valley State and Ashland finished ahead of the Wildcats. Franklin was the top finisher on the weekend as she won the triple jump, setting a new GLIAC championship meet and school record (39-3.25). Franklin won the high jump, clearing 5-6.5. She also picked up two points in the long jump when she finished seventh, clearing 17-4.75. She was also eighth in the 60 hurdles. Angeli broke her 200 school record and set it at 25.5 seconds as she finished second. Her new time qualified her as a provisional for nationals. She also broke her school record in the 60 dash, finishing third with a time of 7.85 seconds. Roberts had a jump of 12-3.5 in the pole vault, good for third and good for a provisional qualifying. Granquist and Christensen led the charge on Friday as they finished fourth and fifth in the pentathlon. Granquist was fifth in the triple jump while Lovett was seventh. The 4x400 relay team finished fifth and set a school record with a time of 4:02.13.

The NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships were held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Franklin became the second All-Amercan in NMU track and field history as she finished seventh in the triple jump with a jump of 38-10 ¼. She also cleared 5-5 in the high jump for 11th place. Roberts competed in the pole vault but wasn’t able to advance past the first round.

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Prepared By
Calvin Larson
Sports Information