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Alpena’s Szymanski 65th for NMU at NCAA finals

Courtesy Northern Michigan University Northern Michigan University’s Madi Szymanski runs in a college women’s cross country meet during the fall.

JOPLIN, Mo. — Sophomore Madi Szymanski represented Northern Michigan University at the NCAA Division II Championships in women’s cross country on Saturday in Missouri and finished 65th in a field of more than 260 runners.

The Alpena native finished the six-kilometer (3.73-mile) course in 21 minutes, 6.2 seconds, moving up in the field throughout the race. She was 91st at the 1K mark, then 77th at one mile, when she clocked 5:29.1. Then she was 76th at the 3K halfway point in 10:28.9, moving up a bit more to 74th at 4K in 14:03.3 before making it to 73rd at 5K in 17:43.3.

It was a memorable season for Szymanski as she earned All-GLIAC honors after finishing eighth at the GLIAC Championship on Oct. 21 in Houghton and 12th at the NCAA Division 2 Midwest Regional Championship on Nov. 4 in Evansville, Indiana, to earn All-Region recognition.

Szymanski improved her 6K personal record time on three instances this season, with the 20:55.83 time in the regionals her best finish.

“Madi had an incredible season,” NMU cross country head coach Jenny Ryan said. “She ran well all year and finished with a top performance at the national championships.

“She is a model student-athlete putting in all the hard work in everything she does. We are all so proud of her.”

Grand Valley State took home the team title, their seventh in program history as the Lakers had all of their top five runners finish inside the first 30.

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