MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University indoor track and field team has concluded the 2011-12 season. The Wildcats were ranked in the top 25 in the nation all season, climbing as high as No. 14 and placed seventh at the 2012 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships. Senior Bailey Franklin, sophomore Jamie Roberts and redshirt freshman Sherice Hewett qualified for the 2010 NCAA Division II Championships in Mankato, Minn. and were each All-American in their events.
Franklin finished third in the high jump to become an All-American for the second year in a row. She jumped 5 feet, 8.75 inches. Roberts finished sixth in the pole vault, clearing 12 feet, 5.5 inches for her second All-American honor. Hewett jumped 39 feet, 9.75 inches for a sixth place finish in the triple jump.
Five Wildcats earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Region. Senior Catherine Angeli was selected in the 200-meter dash, Franklin in the high jump and triple jump, Roberts in the pole vault, Hewett in the triple jump and freshman Angelina Howard in the 60-meter dash.
The season got underway at the Saint Scholastica Opener (Dec. 10). Team scores weren’t kept, but the Wildcats broke two school records and had an NCAA provisional qualifying jump. Hewett won the triple jump (39-00.25). Franklin was third and sophomore Delaney Lovett was fourth. Howard won the 60-meter dash while setting a new school record (7.76). Freshman Samara White came in second. In the 4 x 200 relay, the squad of Howard, Hewett, White and Angeli finished first with a school record (1:45.53). White won the long jump and sophomore Katie Searles was fifth. Hewett was second in the 60 hurdles while senior Melissa Christensen was fifth. Junior Mariah Beaman was fourth in the shot put. Junior Colby West and sophomore Sydney Schultz finished second and third in the 300. Sophomore Kristina Mattson finished third in the 600.
NMU closed out 2011 at the Grand Valley State Holiday Open (Dec. 16) where two more Wildcats received NCAA provisional qualifying marks. Franklin placed first and a provisional qualifying jump of 5-foot-8 in the high jump. She also finished second in the triple jump to Hewett who won the event with a jump of 38 feet. Roberts finished third in the pole vault good for a provisional qualifying mark at 11 feet, 7.75 inches. Angeli broke the school record in the 400-meter dash with a time of 57.50, finishing third. Howard finished fourth in the 60-meter dash. Mattson was fourth in the 600. Christensen was fifth in the 60 hurdles and fourth in the long jump.
After taking a month off for the holidays, NMU competed at the Badger Track Classic at the University of Wisconsin (Jan. 14). Roberts won the pole vault, clearing 12 feet, 1.5 inches and freshman Macaulay had a jump of 4 feet, 11.75 inches in the high jump for fourth place.
The ‘Cats traveled to the University of Wisconsin for the UW-Elite meet (Jan. 21) where they placed fourth with 96 points. Roberts won the pole vault. Angeli took the 200-meter dash and the distance medley relay squad finished first. Angeli was also fourth in the 400 dash, Schultz finished fifth and West finished sixth in the event. Hewett ended the day in second place in the triple jump, third in the 60 hurdles and fourth in the 200. Franklin was third in the triple jump and fourth in the 60 hurdles. The distance runners saw their first action of the season. Sophomore Chelsea Farquhar was eighth in the 3,000 with teammates junior Rita Woitas (9th), Howard (10th) and freshman Emily Allen (11th) right behind her.
At the Pointer Invitational (Feb. 4) the ‘Cats tied for second with UW-Eau Claire each with 100 points. On the day, the ‘Cats broke five school records and had one automatic qualifier and four provisional qualifying marks. Howard won the 60-meter dash with a new school record time of 7.75 seconds for a provisional qualifying mark. Angeli finished first in the 200 with a school record time of 25.26 seconds and provisional qualifying time. Multi-athletes placed four in the top seven. Franklin won the pentathlon with a school record of 3,339 points. She cleared 5 feet, 9.25 inches in the high jump portion to break her old school record and qualify for NCAA Nationals. Junior Brooke Granquist (3rd), Christensen (4th) and Searles (7th) also placed in the event. The ‘Cats had three one mile runners finish in the top five: freshman Larissa Halonen (2nd), junior Nora Kiilunen (3rd) and sophomore Mandy Dye (5th). The 4x400 relay team of Hewett, Christensen, West and Angeli placed second.
The ‘Cats traveled to Allendale, Mich. to participate in the GVSU Big Meet (Feb. 11) where Roberts once again broke the pole vault record. Roberts cleared 12 feet, 5.50 inches for the fifth best ump in the nation for the season. Howard received a second-place finish in the 60-meter dash, breaking her school record in the event. Angeli finished second in the 200-meter dash. Junior Mallory Celaya finished fourth in the 3,000 run in 10:30.16.
NMU hosted one home meet for the season (Feb. 18). The ‘Cats received nine first-place finishes on the day: Farquhar in the 5,000-meter run (18:58.60), Dye in the mile (5:14.84) and senior Rachael Williams in the 800-meter run (2:23.73). Franklin jumped 5 feet, 8 inches in the high jump for first place. In the 55 hurdles, Hewett set a school record of 8.45 in the preliminary heat. Howard set a new record in the 55 dash (7.17) and first place. Angeli broke her old record in the 200 with a time of 25.16, shaving one tenth of a second off the record. Roberts broke her pole vault record for the third time this season with a jump of 12 feet, 8 inches.
In the final competition of the season, NMU competed in the GLIAC Championships (Feb. 25). The ‘Cats finished with 43.75 points for seventh place. Hewett was named the Women’s Freshman-of-the-Meet, she was the lone Wildcat to be a conference champion as she won the triple jump. In the event, Hewett broke Franklin’s GLIAC record in the triple jump with a jump of 40 feet, 2 inches. The jump qualified her for NCAA nationals. Angeli finished fourth in the 200 with a school record of 25.18. Howard finished fifth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.8 seconds. Lovett was fifth in the triple jump. Franklin tied for seventh in the high jump. Dye, Kiilunen and Halonen finished in spots nine thru 11th in the one mile run.
Throughout the indoor season, NMU had three ‘Cats named GLIAC Athlete of the Week for their performances during the respective week. Hewett (Dec. 19), Franklin (Feb. 6) and Roberts (Feb. 20) were all honored by the GLIAC.
# # # NMU # # #