MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University indoor track and field team kicks off the 2012-13 season this weekend with The Opener from the College of St. Scholastica. First-year head coach Chereé Hicks looks to build on the recent successes of the program.
“I’m excited to finally get things going after a lot of practices,” Hicks said. “Everybody’s been training really hard so now we get to see what it looks like in competition.”
Hicks was hired into the position on Sept. 20 and comes to NMU after 11 years as an assistant coach at the University of Miami, Syracuse University and Portland State University. She was an NCAA runner-up in the shot put and discus as a student-athlete at Syracuse and an Academic All-American and All-American in discus at California State University, Northridge.
“The first meet is a culmination of fall training,” said Hicks. “It will be a good motivator going into winter break. We will be able to see what we need to tweak and what the athletes need to focus on in training at home to prepare for the winter semester.”
During the 2011-12 indoor season, the ‘Cats were ranked in the top 25 in the nation, finished 14th at the NCAA Championship. NMU also placed seventh at the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference indoor championships and had three field event athletes earn All-America status.
Mariah Beaman, Brooke Granquist, Brittany Loomis, Colby West and Rita Woitas will supply senior leadership. There are also 11 juniors, 11 sophomores and two redshirt freshmen along with six freshmen. Beaman, West and Woitas along with junior Delaney Lovett will serve as team captains.
Junior Jamie Roberts is a three-time All-American in the pole vault and finished sixth at last year’s NCAA Indoor Championship. She holds the school record in the event at 12-feet-8.
Sophomore Angelina Howards leads the sprinters as she holds the school record in the 55 and 60-meter dashes and was named all-region last season. West holds the 300 record.
The distance runners are led by junior Mallory Celaya who holds the 5,000 record. Veteran assistant coach Jenny Ryan will lead the distance group that consists of cross country runners who finished eighth in the region.
After this weekend, the ‘Cat don’t compete again until Jan. 12 at the University of Wisconsin Elite Meet. On Feb. 2 NMU travels to the Pointer Invite in Stevens Point, Wis. and then travel to Grand Valley State University the following weekend (Feb. 8-9).
The lone home meet is on Feb. 16 at the Superior Dome. The GLIAC Championship is on Feb. 22-23 at GVSU and the NCAA Indoor Championship is March 8-9 in Birmingham, Ala.
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