FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn.— No. 19 Northern Michigan University Cross Country competed Saturday morning at the Roy Graik Cross Country Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota. The Wildcats placed fifth of 41 NCAA Division II teams with two top-10 individual finishers.
In a field of over 400 runners, sophomore Katelyn Smith (Gaylord, Michigan) earned a top-10 finish, crossing the finish line in third. Smith's time of 22 minutes, 44.4 seconds in the meet was more than two-and-a-half minutes better than her finish in the same event a year ago.
Senior Vivian Hett (Burnsville, Minnesota) was the second fastest Wildcat runner also placing in the top-10. Hett finished 6th in 22:53.8. It was the first competition Hett has seen in 2017.
Junior Abby Fifarek (Buckley, Michigan) rounded out the top-three finishers for NMU with a 46h-place finisher in 23:49.6. Juniors Kieren Becker (Fowler, Michigan) and Sophie McDonald (Park City, Utah) rounded out the scorers for the Wildcats placing 68th and 69th, respectively.
Also running for the Wildcats were sophomore Hannah Torvi (St. Paul, Minnesota) and junior Maddy Walters (Madison, Wisconsin) who finished 109th and 137th, respectively.
As a team, the Wildcats finished fifth without their top-runner for a second-consecutive week. Simon Fraser University was the top NCAA Division II finisher with four runners in the top-20. Pittsburgh State University and the University of Mary rounded out the top three. Augustana University was fourth, just ahead of NMU.
The Wildcats compete again Saturday, September 30 in Escanaba, Michigan at the Bay College Invitational