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Northern Michigan University cross country runners earn academic awards

MARQUETTE — The women’s cross country team at Northern Michigan University has been honored for its academic prowess by the national coaches association.

The Wildcats compiled a cumulative grade-point average of 3.51 to be named recently to the NCAA Division II Women’s Cross Country All-Academic Team for 2019 by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Teams with a 3.0 cumulative GPA and scoring at an NCAA Division II regional meet in the fall were eligible.

NMU took 11th of 32 teams at the 2019 Midwest Regional with 286 points, finishing ahead of seven other GLIAC schools.

Four athletes from Northern earned individual recognition as they were named to the NCAA Division II Women’s Cross Country All-Academic Athletes.

They include seniors Katelyn Smith, a speech, language and hearing science major, and Hanna Torvi, a nursing major. Also recognized were freshmen Madison Malon, a biology major, and Paige Saiz, a public relations major.

Smith led the Wildcats on the cross country course, being named all-region for finishing 19th at the regionals on the six-kilometer course in 21 minutes, 38.0 seconds.

Torvi was 47th, Malon 62nd and Saiz 75th despite their being separated by only 18.2 seconds.

To qualify for the individual award, student-athletes needed a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and have finished among the top 30 percent at their regional meet or in the top half of the NCAA Championships field.