NMU has to wait on cross country nationals berth

By Journal Sports Staff

CEDARVILLE, Ohio — The nationally ranked Northern Michigan University women’s cross country team has to play the waiting game until Monday to see if it will get a bid to the NCAA Division II Championships.

That’s because the 17th-ranked Wildcats just missed a top-three finish at the Division II Midwest Region Championships in Cedar-ville, Ohio, on Saturday, finishing fourth.

The top three teams at the regional — current GLIAC member Grand Valley State and past members Hillsdale and Walsh — earned automatic bids to the nationals to be held in Evansville, Indiana, on Nov. 18.

Eight teams nationwide outside the top three at their regionals will be chosen Monday as “wild cards” to fill out the 32-school field.

NMU hopes to reach the nationals for the third straight year.

NMU scored 126 points at the regional, 21 behind third-place Walsh. GVSU won the meet with 46 points, while Hillsdale was second with 81.

Nipping at the Wildcats’ heels was Southern Indiana in fifth with 137. Michigan Tech was eighth with 237..

NMU senior Kameron Burmeister became a four-time all-region top-25 finisher. She was fifth in a season-best 21 minutes, 38.90 seconds and 20 seconds behind race winner Sarah Berger of Walsh, who clocked 21:19.3.

Also earning all-region honors for NMU were senior Vivian Hett, 14th in 21:59.00, and sophomore Katelyn Smith, 19th in 22:02.60.

Northern’s other four runners all finished in the top 60 to preserve the team’s finish. Junior Abby Fifarek was 40th in 22:45.60, junior Sophie McDonald 48th in 22:58.00, senior Kieren Becker 51st in 23:04.00 and sophomore Hanna Torvi 55th in 23:08.10.

Former Westwood High School runner Kathryn Etelamaki earned all-region honors by finishing 20th in 22:03.2. She was the top finisher for Ferris State, which finished 12th.

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