MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University Women's Cross Country will host their lone home meet of the season on Friday at the NMU Golf Course. The U.P. Championships will include a women's five-kilometer race at 3 p.m. and a men's eight-kilometer race at 3:45 p.m.
The Wildcats have been at full strength on just one occasion in 2018 after battling injuries and health. Despite that battle, a number of upperclassmen have led the team throughout the regular season. Senior Sophie McDonald (Park City, Utah) has been the top NMU finisher in the past two meets. She was the fifth-fastest Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference runner at the Conference Crossover with a time of 22 minutes, 54.50 seconds.
Senior Abby Fifarek (Buckley, Michigan) and junior Katelyn Smith (Gaylord, Michigan) have each been the top Wildcat finisher once this season. Smith was the second-fastest runner overall at the season opening Ray Helsing Invite, while Fifarek led the team a week later at the Spartan Invitational. Smith's top six-kilometer time this season sits at 23:32.80, while Fifarek finished the Roy Griak Invitational in 23:04.00 for her best performance of 2018.
A pair of freshmen have consistently been in the top-seven for the Wildcats this season including Anna Kelley (Minneapolis, Minnesota) and Katrina Salmen (Peshtigo, Wisconsin). Kelley has been in the top-seven for NMU each of the team's four meets this season and owns a top six-kilometer time of 24:58.10 which she recorded at the Roy Griak Invitational. Salmen has finished in the Wildcats' top-seven on three occasions and has a top time this season of 25:46.10 at the Conference Crossover.
NMU will compete against Michigan Technological University, Bay College, and Finlandia University on Friday.