Burmeister leads NMU women to 13th at nationals

Northern Michigan University’s Kameron Burmeister crosses the finish line in fifth place overall, first for NMU during the women's cross country GLIAC Championships Saturday, Oct 21, 2017, at Gentz's Homestead Golf Course in Marquette. (Journal photo by Rachel Oakley)

By Journal Sports Staff

EVANSVILLE, Indiana — Kameron Burmeister of Northern Michigan University earned her second consecutive All-America award at the women’s cross country NCAA Championships at Angel Mounds State Historic Site on Saturday morning.

The senior from Menominee finished 26th among 247 finishers at the national finals in the six-kilometer (3.73-mile) race in 21 minutes, 33.7 seconds. That was less than 10 seconds out of 16th place, less than 30 seconds out of sixth place and just over a minute behind race winner Caroline Kurgat of Alaska-Anchorage.

Kurgat, a senior, won her first national title by more than 20 seconds, defeating runner-up and Midwest Region champion Sarah Berger of Walsh, who clocked 20:52.1.

Burmeister led the Wildcats to a 13th-place finish among the 32 schools competing.

She began the race close to the middle of the pack before making her climb toward the front, according to a report from NMU Sports Information. Burmeister was 83rd after the first kilometer, jumping nearly 50 spots to 35th by the 3K midpoint.

A year ago, Burmeister earned her first All-America award by coming in 30th at this event, and with two of these high finishes, becomes the fourth NMU runner to earn multiple cross country All-America awards. The program as a whole has 11 of these honors.

Northern tied Augustana, South Dakota, for 13th with 389 points. Adams State won the team title with 126 points, having its five scoring runners finish between ninth and 45th. The University of Mary (North Dakota) was runner-up with 137.

GLIAC member and top Midwest Regional finisher Grand Valley State was sixth with 185, ex-GLIAC member Hillsdale was seventh with 279, and another ex-GLIAC member Walsh was right ahead of the Wildcats in 12th with 370.

NMU had two more runners also crack the top 100. Sophomore Katelyn Smith climbed more than 100 spots from the first kilometer to the end of the race to come in 56th in 21:59.9, while senior Vivian Hett was 88th in 22:22.5.

The other four Wildcats completed the race among the second hundred finishers — junior Abby Fifarek was 116th in 22:41.7, junior Sophie McDonald was 172nd in 23:16.0 and junior Kieren Becker was 186th in 23:25.8. Sophomore Hanna Torvi, who jumped up nine spots in the final kilometer, just eked out a top-200 finish in 198th in 23:38.5.

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