NMU - Wildcats Finish 13th at National Championships, Led by an All-American

NMU - Wildcats Finish 13th at National Championships, Led by an All-American

Provided by NMU

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—Senior Kameron Burmeister (Menominee, Michigan) saw her historic college career come to an end Saturday morning at the NCAA Division II National Championships collecting her second-consecutive All-America award. Burmeister's efforts guided the Wildcats to a 13th-place finish at the Angel Mounds State Historic Site in Evansville, Indiana.

With the top-40 finishers garnering 2017 All-America honors, Burmeister placed 26th finishing in 21 minutes, 33.70 seconds. Burmeister began the race close to the middle of the lead pack before making her steady climb towards the front. Burmeister was in 83rd after the first kilometer but jumped more than 40 spots before the race's midway point. At the 3K-mark, the All-American was timed in 35, but continued her climb to 26th before the end of the race.

A year ago, Burmeister earned her first career All-America award with a 30th-place finish at the national meet. The senior becomes the fourth runner in NMU history to earn multiple cross country All-America awards, while the program has now earned 11 total cross country All-America honors.

Next for the Wildcats was sophomore Katelyn Smith (Gaylord, Michigan) who climbed more than 100 spots between the the first kilometer and the end of the race. Smith finished 56th with a time of 21:59.90. Senior Vivian Hett (Burnsville, Minnesota) also turned in a top-100 finish, crossing the finish line 88th with a time of 22:22.50

A trio of juniors were the next three NMU finishers, led by Abby Fifarek (Buckley, Michigan). Fifarek was the 116th fastest runner with a time of 22:41.70. Sophie McDonald (Park City, Utah) and Kieren Becker (Fowler, Michigan) placed 172nd and 186th, respectively. McDonald finished with a time of 23:16.0, while Becker was not far behind with a time of 23:25.80

Sophomore Hanna Torvi (St. Paul, Minnesota) was the final Wildcat finisher. Torvi jumped nine spots in the final kilometer to finish 198th in 23:38.50.

Taking the individual crown was Caroline Kurgat of the University of Alaska, Anchorage crossing the finish line in 20:32.30. Kurgat defeated the field by nearly 20 seconds to earn her first cross country national title. Midwest Region athlete Sarah Berger of Walsh University finished second by a narrow margin with a time of 20:52.10. Rounding out the top three was Natalie Rodriguez of California State University Sa Marcos with a time of 20:53.70.

As a team, the Wildcats finished 13th with 389 points, making a steady climb up the standings from the start of the race. NMU improved their standing at each of the races six kilometers, coming in at 24th after the first kilometer.

Adams State University took home the team crown with three All-Americans in their top-seven to finish with 126 points. The University of Mary had four All-Americans but fell 11 points shy of the top spot, finishing with 137 points. Rounding out the top-three teams was California Baptist University who finished with 148 points in their final year at the NCAA II level before making the jump to NCAA I next year.

NMU opens the Indoor Track & Field season in December 2 in Duluth, Minnesota.