Wildcat athletics well represent NMU, area

Dr. Brock Tessman, president, Northern Michigan University

Last weekend in Houghton my family and I had the privilege of joining a few hundred — very loud — Wildcat fans to watch our hockey team score three early goals and then rely on phenomenal goal-keeping from Beni Halasz to shut out highly-ranked Michigan Tech and earn a spot in the CCHA Championship this Saturday at Minnesota State.

Meanwhile, the men’s basketball team went on an amazing late-season run of its own, beating Michigan Tech in the GLIAC title game to earn its first GLIAC tournament title in 23 years. Coach Majkrzak’s team then made an inspired charge to the round of 32 at the Division II National Championships in Indianapolis.

Your Wildcats are roaring! And hockey and men’s basketball are just the tip of the iceberg. Did you know that, of the 11 Wildcat teams that compete during the winter season, nine were represented (either individually or as a team) at the national championships?

Wildcat Swimming and Diving returned from the national championship meet with more than a few All-American honors, led by Michaela Nelson, Camilla Carbone, Zoe DeKieVit, and Txell Font, who earned a fourth place in the 400 Medley, and Olivia Haerr, who joined DeKieVit, Font, and Carbone for a fifth place finish and team record in the 200 medley. Freshman Tobie Stiles was the top individual finisher of the men’s swimming and diving team with 12th in the one-meter diving and 16th in the three-meter event.

In women’s wrestling, senior Diana Dzasezeva was fourth in the 136-pound category and freshman Lydia Krauss was fifth in the 155-pound division.

On the indoor track, sophomore Crystal Walker finished 13th and established herself as a national title contender.

Wildcat Nordic skiing teams came away with four top 30 finishes in the 5K freestyle and 20K classic races. At the U.S. Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association (USCSA) National Championships, the NMU Alpine women took second and the men took third, with senior Reagan Olli earning the national title in slalom, and the prestigious overall women’s points championship.

With all their competitive success, our athletes know that first and foremost, they are students. As we celebrate their athletic achievements, we also celebrate their academic commitment — and indeed the commitment of every Northern Michigan University student– as they come together from different communities, countries, cultures, identities, and with different abilities, to achieve victories along their path to becoming our next great generation of teachers, health professionals, entrepreneurs, scientists, and global citizens.

I can feel the Green and Gold running through my veins. Go Cats, Go!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Brock Tessman is president of Northern Michigan University.


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