BAY CITY, Mich. – The Northern Michigan University Cross Country team was selected to finish fifth in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll. The team also opens the season ranked 10th in the Midwest Region.
The Wildcats will be led by senior Hanna Torvi (St. Paul, Minn.), the only returner to compete in every race last year. Torvi finished 22nd at the GLIAC Championships with a time of 22:58.60 and was 10th in the season-opening Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational, clocking in at 20:35.7. At the U.P. Championships, her time of 18:58.80 placed her second.
Senior Katelyn Smith (Gaylord, Mich.) opened last year with a second place at the Bulldog Invite, 19:37.60, but battled injury throughout the year. At the GLIAC Championships she finished in a time of 23:12.00 for 27th place.
Junior Ellise Longley (Bloomington, Minn.), and sophomores Katrina Salmen (Peshtigo, Wis.), and Anna Kelley (Minneapolis, Minn.) all competed in six events last year and provide the Wildcats with talented experience. Salmen came away with a time of 25:06.20 for the GLIAC Championships, with Kelley right behind at 25:12.50. Longley clocked in at 35:37.20 and posted a time of 24:40.20 in the NCAA Regional.
The Wildcats also feature senior Paige Du Bois (Green Bay, Wis.), and sophomores Aubrey Friedrich (Lockport, Ill.), Hannah Jones (Williamston, Mich.), and Chrysanthe Patselas (Ann Arbor, Mich.), who ran in multiple races during the 2018 season.
Seniors Megan Bauer (Anchorage, Alaska) and Victoria Harris (Iron River, Mich.), junior Holly Blowers (Marquette, Mich.) and sophomores Carrie Duerksen (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Sydney Ormsbee (Brighton, Mich.) also return and look to contribute more this season.
Joining the cross country team for the first year will be redshirt freshman Katie Cleven (Harbor Springs, Mich.), and freshmen Kimberly Carviou (Marinette, Wis.), Meghan Langworthy (Big Rapids, Mich.), Morgan Lyon (Traverse City, Mich.), Madison Malon (Grandville, Mich.), Delaney Pickett (Jackson, Mich.), Paige Saiz (Milford, Mich.), Emily Sterling (Boyne City, Mich.), Molly Thompson (Paw Paw, Mich.) and Caroline Vegeberg (Fejo, Denmark).
The Wildcats received a total of 81 points. Defending GLIAC Champion, Grand Valley State University received 121 points and 11 first place votes while Michigan Technological University received 108 points and one first place vote.
Saginaw Valley State University finished with 97 points and Wayne State University had 90. Behind NMU was Ferris State University with 73 points and University of Wisconsin Parkside with 62.
Ashland University, 52 points, Davenport University, 35 points, Northwood University, 30 points, Purdue University Northwest, 30 points, and Lake Superior State University, 12 points, round out the GLIAC Preseason Poll.
The Wildcats get the season started this weekend as they head to the Northwood Invitational Saturday afternoon for a 1:15 start time.