Wildcats Open the Season with Three Runners in Top-Five

Wildcats Open the Season with Three Runners in Top-Five

BIG RAPIDS, Mich.—No. 16 Northern Michigan University Women's Cross Country had three student-athletes finish in the top-five en route to a runner-up team finish at the Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational Saturday afternoon. The meet was held in Big Rapids, Michigan at Katke Golf Course.


The Wildcats' top returning runner from a season ago was the top finisher in the 2018 season opener with a runner-up performance. Junior Katelyn Smith (Gaylord, Michigan) was the second-fastest runner in the field with a time of 19 minutes, 37.60 seconds in the five-kilometer race.


Two more upperclassmen finished in the top-five for the Wildcats with senior Abby Fifarek (Buckley, Michigan) and junior Shayla Manitowabi-Huebner (Marquette, Michigan) placing third and fifth, respectively. Fifarek crossed the finish line in 20:00.30, while Huebner finished with a time of 20:24.40.

Another upperclassmen placed in the top-10 with junior Hanna Torvi (St. Paul, Minnesota) turning in a 10th-place finish. The fourth-fastest Wildcat finisher recorded a time of 20:35.70.


Three freshmen rounded out the top-seven finishers led by Anna Kelley (Minneapolis, Minnesota) She finished 14th overall and earned a time of 21:09.80. Grace Bilse (Menominee, Michigan) and Katrina Salmen (Peshtigo, Wisconsin) placed 15th and 19th, respectively, with times of 21:16.90 and 21:29.00.


With three teams competing at the event, NMU defeated St. Clair County Community College, but fell just five points shy of host Ferris St. The Bulldogs recorded 26 points with the Wildcats earning 31.


Aubrey Friendrich – 21:40.80 (20th)
Hannah Lonergan – 21:52.90 (22nd)
Chrysanthe, Patselas – 22:14.40 (26th)
Ithaca Bergholtz – 22:25.10 (27th)
Hannah Jones – 22:28.30 (28th)
Sydney Ormsbee – 23:23.10 (31st) 


Next week, the Wildcats will head to East Lansing, Michigan for the Spartan Invitational hosted by Michigan State University. The meet will take place at Forest Akers East Golf Course and begin at 11:40 a.m.