MARQUETTE, Mich. — Northern Michigan will induct five individuals and one team into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
Morgan Smyth, a three-time All-American skier who helped the Wildcats complete their historic double podium sweep at the 2007 NCAA Skiing Championships, is one of the inductees who will be honored during homecoming weekend. The formal induction will occur Sept. 23 in the Great Lakes Rooms at 7 p.m.
"It's a huge honor," Smyth said. "For me, being part of the NMU ski team was a huge honor. Being inducted into the NMU Sports Hall of Fame was something I never even dreamed of. It means a lot. Since I live so far away and NMU is like a second home to me, I'm excited to get to come back and be there for Homecoming."
Smyth began skiing at two years old and, by age nine, was racing competitively in the Western Mass Bill Koch Youth Ski League. After a decorated high school career at Stratton Mountain School in Vermont, she arrived in Marquette in the fall of 2003.
A two-time Academic All-American, Smyth skied and ran cross country for Northern Michigan from 2003 to 2008. As a sophomore, she took seventh in the freestyle sprint at the World Junior Ski Championships. She followed that up with another solid performance on the international stage at the 2007 World U-23 Ski Championships, taking eighth in the classic sprint.
Smyth narrowly earned the right to represent the Wildcats at the 2007 NCAA Skiing Championships as a junior based on her performance at the NCAA Central Region Championships. By placing third in both the 5K freestyle and 10K classic, she beat out senior Maria Stuber for the final spot on the championship team.
"I was the one vying for that third spot, as only three athletes get to represent their school," Smyth said. "I barely got the spot. Just being there was an honor. I never imagined what was to come."
And, there, Smyth became a part of history, teaming with seniors Lindsey Weier and Lindsay Williams to secure the first double podium sweep in the NCAA Skiing Championship's history. Smyth took second in the 5K freestyle and sealed the sweep with her third-place finish in the 15K classic.
"The double podium sweep is probably the most memorable moment of my ski career," Smyth said. "After the first race, we thought we might be able to pull it off, and it was just an amazing experience. Many of our teammates were there to cheer us on, and it was exciting to accomplish something no one had before."
Smyth capped her collegiate career by being named the 2008 CCSA Skier of the Year and earning her third All-American award by taking fifth in the 5K freestyle at the NCAA Skiing Championships.
"The best parts of ski racing weren't the achievements, but the great teammates and experiences I had along the way," Smyth said. "I don't remember many races or my results, but I'm still friends with most of my teammates from college. The experiences we shared are what made my time at Northern Michigan fun and memorable."
Smyth continued to ski after leaving Marquette. A member of the U.S. Ski Team from 2006 to 2010, she competed at the 2009 World Championship. She also won national titles in the 5K classic and team sprint at the 2009 U.S. Senior Nationals.
Smyth transitioned into coaching after skiing for APU Nordic Ski Center in 2011. From 2012 to 2015, she was the head coach and program director for Soldier Hollow. She is currently the program manager for Park City Nordic Ski Club in Park City, Utah.
Tickets for the induction ceremony, which can be purchased online, cost $30 for adults and $15 for children 10 and under. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for a pre-event social. The inductees will also be recognized at halftime of the football team's game against Northwood Sept. 24 and at the homecoming parade Sept. 23 at 5:30 p.m.