Leaders of the pack: Akirah Venerable, 4-by-400 relay team pace Northern Michigan University Wildcats on final day of GLIAC Championships women’s track

Northern Michigan University’s Akirah Venerable, shown here at the Drake Alternative Meet held in Whitewater, Wis., on April 28, had the Wildcats’ highest finish on the third and final day of the GLIAC Championships held in downstate Caledonia on May 5, when she was runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles. (Photo courtesy NMU)

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University women’s track and field team had a pair of top-three podium finishes on the final day, May 5, of the GLIAC Championships held in downstate Caledonia.

The Wildcats finished fourth at the three-day meet with 73 1/2 points. Grand Valley State won the title with 258, while Saginaw Valley State was runner-up with 135 and Wayne State third with 126.

NMU’s podium finishes on May 5 were a runner-up placing that was a school record by Akirah Venerable in the 400-meter hurdles in 1 minute, 1.67 seconds, and a third place by Northern’s 4-by-400 relay in 3:55.27.

That quartet was made up of Ahna Larson, Beverly Harper, Ciara Ostrenga and Sydney Romps.

In addition, the Wildcats picked up another five fourth-place finishes on the final day.

Here is a day-by-day synopsis of Northern’s accomplishments at the meet, working back from the final day:


Day 3 recap

Venerable tied the school record in Day 2’s preliminary round of the 400 hurdles, a record she set a week earlier. Romps was sixth in 1:04.89 in the finals of the same hurdles event.

Among the fourth-place finishers was Jacqueline Smith in the high jump after she cleared 1.62 meters (5 feet, 3 3/4 inches).

Also coming in fourth was Leah Root in the pole vault as she made it over at 3.53 meters (11-7), while teammate Rebecca Lane was eighth with 3.38 meters (11-1) as Mari McClure also made it over at 3.08 meters (10-1 1/4).

And Skylar Grubb was fourth in the 5,000 run in 18:07.08, while Madi Szymanski was sixth in 18:20.43.

Ellyse Wolfrath finished fourth in the 100 hurdles in 14.11.

Finally, the Wildcats’ quartet of Wolfrath, Venerable, Jahtivya Williams and Crystal Walker was fourth in the 4-by-100 relay in 47.62 seconds.

Notching a sixth-place finish was Szymanski in the 1,500 after she moved up three spots late in the race to finish in 4:35.84. Teammate Gianna Hoving was eighth in 4:38.82.

NMU had a pair of seventh-place finishers as Root leapt 10.47 meters (34-4 1/4) in the triple jump and Harper clocked 58.28 in the 400.

Coming in eighth was Williams in the 100 in 12.56.

In the shot put, Alizabeth Little was 11th in 11.02 meters (36-1 7/8) and Adelyn Sanders 13th in 10.31 meters (33-9 7/8), while in the discus, Sanders finished 13th with a toss of 31.82 meters (104-4 3/4) and Little was 15th with 29.01 meters (95-2 1/8).


Day 2 Recap

Walker had the Wildcats’ highlights on the middle day of the meet, finishing in second place in the long jump with a leap of 5.68 meters (18-7 5/8).

In other event finals, Teiolla Harvey finished fourth in the heptathlon with 4,219 points in its seven events. Her events on this day included third in the javelin with a throw of 31.08 meters (101-11 5/8), fourth in the long jump with 5.06 meters (16-7 1/4) and seventh in the 800 in 2:51.24.

Skylar Grubb was fifth in the 10,000 in 37:10.48, while Emma Moore came in 10th in 39:28.60 and Meghan Langworthy 11th in 39:46.49.

Harvey was seventh in the regular javelin event with 31.61 meters (103-8 1/2) as Sanders was ninth with 28.16 meters (92-4 5/8).

Paige Anderson paced NMU in the 3,000 steeplechase in 10th in 11:51.02, with Lily Majestic 13th in 12:04.53 and Emma Sweeny 15th in 12:11.65.

In the hammer throw, Little was 13th by tossing it 33.23 meters (109-0 1/4), while Sanders was 15th with 32.00 meters (104-11 7/8).

In the preliminaries of other events held that day, Szymanski was fifth in the 1,500 in 4:41.58, Hoving eighth in 4:46.86 and Emily Sterling 16th in 4:59.45.

In the 100 hurdles, Wolfrath was fourth in 14.32 and Walker fifth in 14.35 as Sydney Romps finished in 16.59.

For the 400, Harper was fourth in 57.89 as Ciara Ostrenga clocked 59.61 and Ella Niznik 1:03.12.

Williams was ninth in the 100 in 12.59, while Hoving was 10th in the 800 in 2:15.83.

In the 400 hurdles, Venerable tied her school record in 1:02.99 and was third in the prelims, while Romps had 1:05.85 to finish eighth and Ahna Larson was 10th in 1:07.28.

And in the 200 prelims, Williams was 10th in 25.93.


Day 1 recap

Harvey took part in four of the seven heptathlon events and was in fourth place with 2,695 points, just 56 points out of first place. She was second in the high jump by clearing 1.53 meters (5-0 1/4), third in the 100 hurdles and shot put and eighth in the 200.

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


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