NMU cross country women dominate U.P. Championships

HARVEY – The Northern Michigan University women’s cross country team dominated to easily win the Upper Peninsula Championships title at a meet held Friday afternoon at the NMU Golf Course in Chocolay Township.

This is the only home meet for the Wildcats during their fall season.

A majority of the top 15 were NMU team runners, led by individual champion Sophie McDonald. The sophomore clocked in at 22 minutes, 59.0 seconds on the six-kilometer (3.7-mile) course.

NMU compiled 19 points, well ahead of runner-up Lake Superior State’s 55.

Of the six finishers in the top 15 who weren’t running for the NMU cross country team, three were officially listed as “unattached” but were current or recent members of NMU track and field or cross country ski teams.

Finishing second individually in 23:10.6 was Wildcats’ senior cross country skier Megan Edic, one of the unattached competitors.

Northern team member and sophomore Nicole Schneider was third in 23:18.5 while freshman teammate Hanna Torvi was fourth in 23:21.1.

The highest-placing collegian from another school was LSSU’s Lydia Heimonen, fifth overall in 23:29.2.

Another unattached runner, NMU sophomore Kelly Pietrzak of the track and field team, was sixth in 23:31.1, followed by Michigan Tech’s Amanda Kautzer in seventh in 23:58.2.

NMU senior Jaylee Brown was eighth in 23:58.9, while unattached runner Felicia Gesior, who was a senior on the NMU ski team last season, was ninth in 23:59.0.

Another Wildcat, junior Kieren Becker, was the final NMU scorer as she finished in 10th overall in 24:07.5.

Northern showed off its depth with nine more finishers in the next 15 spots – Marquette Senior High School graduate and NMU freshman Shayla Huebner, 11th in 24:07.5; sophomore Hannah Lonergan, 12th in 24:10.4; sophomore Maddy Walters, 13th in 24:11.5; recent transfer Taylor Thrush, 15th in 24:43.7; senior Shannon Flynn, 19th in 25:10.6; sophomore Sarah Bezdicek, 20th in 25:17.5; Negaunee High School graduate and NMU junior Clara Churchill, 21st in 25:25.7; freshman Anniken Alnaes, 24th in 25:33.1; and sophomore Kalina Pfannenstiel, 25th in 25:35.1.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.