MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Women's Track & Field finished the two-day Great Lakes Valley Conference Indoor Championships with a third place finish out of 10 teams. The 72 points helped the Wildcats to their highest finish at the conference indoor meet since the 2010-11 season.
Despite not being able to arrive to the meet on time due to a closure of the Mackinac Bridge, the Wildcats found themselves third in the team standings after the first day of competition. NMU earned second-team All-GLIAC in a pair of events with runner-up performances.
The distance medley relay team of sophomore Holly Blowers (Marquette, Michigan), junior Paige Dutcher (Williamston, Michigan) junior Shayla Huebner (Marquette, Michigan), and senior Kieren Becker (Fowler, Michigan) finished in 12 minutes, 1.23 seconds. Their time was good enough for a school record and an NCAA II provisional standard.
Also earning second-team all-conference honors was senior Kameron Burmeister (Menominee, Michigan) who crossed the finish line in 17:07.33 in the 5,000-meter run. The All-GLIAC award marks the second for Burmeister during indoor campaigns and fourth overall during the track & field season. Sophomore Katelyn Smith (Gaylord, Michigan) also competed in the event finishing sixth to score for the Wildcats.
NMU's final scorer on Saturday was junior Michelle Juergen (Gau-Odernheim, Germany) in the long jump. She finished fifth in the event with a height of 18 feet, one inch, which also moved Juergen into 3rd in the NMU record book.
Freshman Nina Augsten (Koenigsbronn, Germany) advanced to Sunday's 60-meter hurdles final, improving her own school record in the event with a time of 8.91 seconds. Two more Wildcats came close to school records in preliminary races with Dutcher finishing the 400-meter run in 57.62 seconds and sophomore Sydney McPeters (Sugarland, Texas) finishing the 200-meter dash in 25.95 seconds. Both times were good enough for second in NMU history.
In the second day of the meet, the Wildcats earned all-conference honors in five more events led by a school record performance in the 4x400-meter relay in the final running event of the meet. McPeters, Collins, Dutcher, and Huebner ran to a second-place finish with a time of 3:49.19, also an NCAA II provisional standard.
Burmeister broke her own school record and improved her NCAA II provisional mark with a time of 9:47.99 and third-place finish. The finish helped Burmeister earn her second All-GLIAC award of the weekend. Smith also ran in the 3,000-meter run earning two points with a seventh-place finish.
The Wildcats earned a pair of NCAA II provisionals in field events with runner-up performances. Juergen was all-conference in the high jump after clearing 5'06.00", while senior Ine Mylle (Zonnebeke, Belgium) was All-GLIAC in the triple jump after leaping 38'10.25"
NMU's final provisional of the day came from Huebner in the 800-meters. She was second-team all-conference after finishing second and improving her top time this season to 2:11.53. Becker also scored in the event, finishing eighth.
Two more Wildcats helped in the team standings for NMU. Becker and Blowers finished back-to-back in the mile, scoring a combined nine points. Becker's time of 5:05.50 moves her into third all-time at NMU, while Blowers moves to fourth with a 5:06.72.
Augsten added three points in the 60-meter hurdles finals, finishing seventh, while Dutcher added a pair with a seventh-place finish in the 400-meter run finals to help round out the NMU scorers at the meet.
NMU now awaits the word on who will advance to the NCAA Indoor Championships. Currently, the 4x400-meter relay team is in position to earn a bid to the national meet, as is Burmeister in the 5,000-meter run. Huebner, Juergen, and Mylle currently fall outside the top-16 that qualify but could still earn a bid to the National Championships to round out the field of 270 athletes. The selections are set to be announced on NCAA.com Tuesday evening at 6 p.m.
The two-day championships will be held March 9-10 in Pittsburgh, Kansas.