MARQUETTE, Mich.—No. 13 Northern Michigan University Women's Cross Country saw their 2017 campaign come to a close over the weekend at the NCAA Division II National Championships. It was the third-consecutive season the Wildcats advanced to the national meet and the ninth time in program history.
As a team, NMU placed 13th as a team out of 32 team's that advanced to the meet. The finish was one place better than their 2016 finish. The Wildcats finished the first of six kilometers in 24th before improving their standing at each kilometer mark after, settling at 13 to end the race.
Senior Kameron Burmeister (Menominee, Michigan) ended her NMU cross country career at the meet with her second-consecutive All-America award, placing 26th. Burmeister's impressive cross country career comes to an end as a two-time All-American, four-time All-Region honoree, four-time All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honoree, and the all-time 6K record holder for the NMU program.
Also at the national meet, sophomore Katelyn Smith (Gaylord, Michigan) and senior Vivian Hett (Burnsville, Minnesota) turned in top-100 performances placing 56th and 88th, respectively. Hett's cross country career at NMU ended with Hett owning the sixth-fastest 6K mark in program history achieving the time at the 2015 NCAA II Championships.
NMU earned an at-large bid to the 2017 NCAA II Championships after a fourth-place finish at the NCAA II Midwest Region Championships. The Wildcats were guided by a trio of All-Region performers in Burmeister, Hett, and Smith. Burmeister finished fifth at the event, while Hett and Smith finished 14th and 19th, respectively. It was the first career All-Region honor for both Hett and Smith.
The 2017 GLIAC Championships were hosted by NMU at Gentz's Homestead Golf Course. Fueled by five All-GLIAC runners, the Wildcats finished runner-up to then No. 2 Grand Valley State University in the team standings. Burmeister, Smith and Hett were the top three NMU finishers at the meet, followed by juniors Sophie McDonald (Park City, Utah) and Abby Fifarek (Buckly, Michigan). At the meet, Smith's performance moved her into eighth on the all-time 6K list at NMU.
The regular season was highlighted by top finishes in stacked fields at the Spartan Invite, Roy Graik Invitational, and Conference Crossover Invitational. NMU was the third fastest NCAA II team the Spartan Invite with Smith finishing ninth. A pair of top-10 finishers in Smith and Hett lead the Wildcats to a fifth-place finish at the Roy Graik Invite. NMU defeated four ranked opponents at the Conference Crossover with a sixth-place showing as a team.
With the cross country season coming to an end, many of the runners will now turn their attention to the track & field seasons. NMU opens the Indoor Track & Field season December 2 in Duluth, Minnesota.