MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University outdoor track and field team has concluded its 2012 season. The Wildcats had the best finish in school history in 20th place at the NCAA Championship as senior Bailey Franklin, redshirt freshman Sherice Hewett and sophomore Jamie Roberts are All-Americans after top ten finishes. The ‘Cats also placed fourth at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship.
“Finishing 20th in the nation was a great accomplishment,” NMU coach Tom Barnes said. “The athletes performed well under pressure and I’m very happy with the season.”
Franklin finished fifth in the high jump with a school record jump of 5 feet, 9.25 inches at the NCAA Championship from Colorado State University at Pueblo. Roberts finished third in the pole vault with a jump of 12 feet, 7.5 inches. Hewett finished eighth in the triple jump, clearing 40 feet, 4.75 inches. The three tallied NMU’s 11 points.
Seven student-athletes were named to the All-Midwest Region team by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Senior Catherine Angeli was selected in the 100-meter dash and was on the 4x100 relay team. Franklin was in the top five in the high jump, long jump and triple jump. Junior Mallory Celaya earned all-region in the 3000 steeplechase. Roberts is all-region in the pole vault. Hewett is all-region in the triple jump and the 4x100 relay. Freshman Angelina Howard and sophomore Samara White were also members of the 4x100 relay squad.
The season began at the Aztec Invitational (March 17) in San Diego, Calif. Team scores were not kept, but NMU had seven top 10 finishes and broke four school records. Franklin won the high jump and set the school record with a jump of 5-8.75 inches. She also finished fifth in the triple jump. Hewett broke two school records in the 100 hurdles (14.74) and the triple jump (39-9.75). Celaya set a new record in the 3,000 steeplechase with a time of 11:12.86. The 4x100 relay team of Howard, Hewett, Christensen and Angeli finished ninth. To finish out the top ten finishes on the weekend, senior Melissa Christensen finished ninth in the heptathlon.
At the UW-Oshkosh Invite (March 31) NMU finished second, had 11 first place finishes and broke another school record. Celaya won the 5,000 run with a time of 18:23.44 to set the new record. Junior Rita Woitas, sophomore Chelsea Farquhar and junior Brittany Loomis placed third through fifth, respectively in the event. Senior Rachael Williams won the 800 run, while sophomore Katie Granquist came in second and sophomore Alicia Romano in third. Angeli won the 100 (12.33) and 200 (25.36) dashes. Howard was second in the 100 with Hewett third in the 200. Hewett also placed first (15.43) in the 100 hurdles, with Christensen in second. Sophomore Sydney Shultz took home the 400 run with a time of 1:02.11. Nora Kiilunen was first in the 1,500 run. The relay team of Howard, Angeli, White and Hewett placed first in the 4x100. Franklin and Roberts took first in the high jump and pole vault, respectively. Junior Mariah Beaman won the javelin throw with a throw of 100-1.
The ‘Cats received its first team win of the season at the St. Norbert Twilight meet (April 5), winning 12 events and breaking a school record. Celaya broke the 3,000m steeplechase record for the second time with a time of 11:07.62. Her time was also a provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA Championship. Hewett placed first in the 100m hurdles, while Howard took home the 100 and 200 dashes. West won the 400 hurdles. Freshman Larissa Halonen (4:53.13) and Kiilunen (4:53.24) were the top two finishers in the 1,500. Franklin won the triple jump (39-4) and the high jump (5-4). Christensen finished first in the long jump and was second in the high jump. Beaman won the javelin and was third in the long jump.
NMU received three first place finishes and broke three school records at the Al Owens Classic (April 21). Celaya once again broke her 3,000 record with a time of 10:59.14 and good for first place. Hewett won the triple jump with a provisional qualifying jump of 39-8. Christensen won the heptathlon with 4,368 points and second in the long jump with a new school record of 19-5.25. The 4x100 relay team of Howard, Angeli, White and Hewett finished fifth with a new school record of 47.42 seconds.
At the Penn Relays (April 26-17), the nation’s largest track and field meet, NMU had two top ten finishes and broke a school record. Hewett finished fourth in the triple jump with a jump of 40-8.25, for the new school record and provisional qualifying mark for NCAA. Roberts finished 10th in the pole vault with a jump of 11-11.75.
In the final competition of the season, the ‘Cats competed at the GLIAC Outdoor Championship in Allendale, Mich. NMU finished with fourth with 69.5 points. Hewett placed first in the triple jump with a record of 41-0.25. Her jump set the new GLIAC record that was held by Franklin, along with the school record. She was named GLIAC Field Freshman Athlete of the Meet. Franklin finished second in the high jump, clearing 5-6.5 and third in the triple jump. The 4x100 relay of Howard, Angeli, White and Hewett finished in third place with a record time of 46.88. Angeli placed fourth in the 200 dash (24.72) and fifth in the 100-meter dash (12.23). Halonen finished 10th in the 1,500 run with a time of 4:44.26. The 4x400 relay team of Christensen, West, sophomore Kristina Mattson and Schultz finished ninth. Junior Brooke Granquist placed 10th in the triple jump.
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