The team came back from a 19-0 deficit late in the third quarter to secure a homecoming win against Wayne State (26-19). Will Borchert was first in the GLIAC for solo tackles, and sixth nationally, during his rookie season and was named GLIAC Freshman of the Year. Brady Hanson earned a spot on the All-GLIAC First-Team, while John McMullen, Trevor Hiller and Wyatt Davis earned spots on the All-GLIAC Second Team
Jacqueline Smith earned a spot on the All-GLIAC first team after finishing third in the GLIAC in kills per set (3.77) and fourth in overall kills (381). Lizzy Stark and Meghan Meyer were recognized with Second Team All-GLIAC honors.
Women's and Men's Swim & Dive:
The women’s team captured the 2022 GLIAC Championship, the program’s second GLIAC title in three years, and the men’s team finished as GLIAC runner-up. Heidi Billings earned GLIAC Women’s Freshman of the Year, while Head Coach Heidi Voigt was named GLIAC Women’s Coach of the Year. At the NCAA DII Swimming and Diving Championships, Junior Ondrej Zach was crowned National Champion in the men’s 1,650-yard freestyle. Overall, NMU earned 13 All-America honors and 16 Honorary All-America awards. The Wildcat women finished the NCAA Championships in 13th place and the men finished in 18th place.
Women’s and Men’s Nordic Skiing:
The men’s team finished first and the women’s team finished second at both the CCSA Championships and the NCAA Regional Championships. The teams wrapped up their season in Midway, Utah, at the NCAA Skiing Championships. Kjetil Baanerud finished first for the ’Cats and seventh nationally in the Men’s 20k Freestyle, earning All-American recognition for the third time in his distinguished NMU career.
Women’s and Men’s Alpine Skiing:
In their inaugural competition season, the alpine ski teams lived up to expectations. The men earned a fourth-place finish at USCSA Nationals while the women took home sixth. Garret Lundteigen raced into fourth during the Men’s Slalom and earned First-Team All-America Honors. Reagan Olli grabbed Second-Team All-America Honors for her performance in the Women’s Slalom.
Head Coach Lindsey LeMay led the Wildcats to a winning record and a record six student-athletes landed on the All-GLIAC teams. Madeline Bittell rewrote the record books for the Wildcats this season, setting new program benchmarks for goals (52), points (71), shots (124) and shots on goal (90).
Women’s Track & Field:
Freshman Crystal Walker set a pair of program records in 2021-22. She ran the 60m hurdles in 8.72 seconds during the indoor season, and went on to eclipse the outdoor 100m hurdles record by more than half a second with a time of 13.91. Walker was named freshman field athlete of the meet at the GLIAC Indoor Championships with a third place finish in the pentathlon along with top finishes in the long jump and 60m hurdles. In the spring, the team finished fifth at the GLIAC Outdoor Championships.
The NMU esports team continued to grow on the success from their inaugural season. The League of Legends team reached the playoffs in every amateur league it joined, with student-athletes surpassing their peak ranks on the solo queue ladder. The Smash team brought a successful revival of the UP Smash scene, including an increased number of players. The team looks forward to competing next year in the first-ever Esports GLIAC Championships.
Women’s and Men’s Weightlifting:
The team was crowned National Champions at the 2022 University National Championships. Overall, the team earned five All-America awards at the event. On the international stage, Lenka Zembova earned a bronze-medal for her home country of Slovakia at the European Junior Championships and Ryland Shriver finished third at the Junior Pan American Games.
Men’s Greco-Roman Wrestling:
The NMU team earned 18 medals in domestic competition. Student-athletes Alston Nutter, Benji Peak and Payton Jacobson earned spots on the USA Wrestling National Team with top-three finishes in their respective weight classes at the World Team Trials. Internationally, Dominic Damon claimed a bronze-medal for Team USA at the Junior Pan American Games and David Stepanian finished eighth at the U23 World Championships. Freshman Max Black placed first at the U20 Championships and earned a spot on the U20 Pan American Championships team.
NMU Hockey finished the season 20-16-1, the third 20-win season under head coach Grant Potulny. The Wildcats defeated Lake Superior State on the road in a best-of-three series in the CCHA Quarterfinals. Northern defeated the No. 1 team in the country three times during the season, sweeping Minnesota-Duluth Dec. 3-4 with 5-4 and 5-2 wins and defeating Minnesota State 4-2 on Jan. 14 when they sat atop the national polls. AJ Vanderbeck landed on the CCHA Second Team, leading the conference in goals (24), and goaltender Charlie Glockner made the CCHA All-Rookie Team.
In Head Coach Troy Mattson’s ‘86 BS, ‘94 MA 17th and final season, the women’s basketball team made the GLIAC Tournament for the 11th straight season. Sophomore Makaylee Kuhn was named to the All-GLIAC First Team for the second consecutive season. Kuhn surpassed 1,000 career points, becoming the 27th player in program history to reach the milestone.
The men’s basketball team closed out the regular season with a thrilling victory at nationally-ranked Ferris State. Max Bjorklund scored 40 points in the second half to secure the win and the #3 seed in the GLIAC Tournament. After an exciting overtime victory over Lake Superior State in the GLIAC Quarterfinals, NMU defeated rival Michigan Tech on their home floor to advance to the GLIAC Championship. The Green and Gold finished the season with an 18-12 record.
The Wildcats advanced to the GLIAC Tournament for the fifth consecutive season. Kaffie Kurz was named to the All-GLIAC Second Team and Noah Eklund earned Honorable Mention. Ryan Palmbaum also joined Kurz on the NCAA Division II Third Team All-Midwest Region.
NMU defeated rival Michigan Tech at home to close out the regular season. Two days later, Justina L’Esperance netted the game-winner to eliminate Michigan Tech in the GLIAC Quarterfinals. After leading the ‘Cats to a 11-8-1 season, Caroline Halonen was recognized on the All-GLIAC First Team, First Team All-Midwest Region, and the GLIAC All-Tournament Team. Isabela Cardoso finished tied for fifth in the conference with 10 goals and earned All-GLIAC Honorable Mention, Second Team All-Midwest Region, and GLIAC All-Tournament Team honors.
Women’s Cross Country:
The Wildcats finished 12th at the 2021 Midwest Regional meet, marking a top-15 finish in the region for the 12th straight season. Madison Malon ran the regional course in 21:50.90, a top-10 time in program history. Teammate Elise Longley followed right behind with a time of 21:58.80. Malon collected All-GLIAC First Team honors at the GLIAC Championships and Longley earned All-GLIAC Second Team honors.
Women’s and Men’s Golf:
The women’s team finished in sixth place at the GLIAC Championships. Annie Pietila was recognized as All-GLIAC Honorable Mention and competed as an individual at the NCAA DII East Regional. The men’s golf team had six Top-10 finishes this season. At the Cav Classic this spring, the team’s score of 918 was NMU’s 10th best all-time for 54 holes.
Winning in Academics and Athletics
The success of NMU student-athletes extends well beyond what is seen on the playing field. With busy schedules including classes, studying, practice, strength training, travel, and competition, student-athletes work hard to consistently maintain high GPAs.
This year, the Women’s and Men’s Swim and Dive teams were again honored with spots on the CSCAA Scholar All-America Team. The Wildcat Women had 33 participants and were ranked ninth overall and first in the GLIAC with a team GPA of 3.64.
The Men’s Team had 30 participants, including senior Grant Combs, who was recently awarded a $10,000 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship after graduating this spring with bachelor’s degrees in computer science and Spanish. The NCAA awards 126 scholarships annually to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically. Grant was nominated for this award by Dr. Julie Rochester, professor and graduate program director of athletic training education in the NMU School of Health and Human Performance. Rochester said, “Grant joins a select few from NMU who have received this prestigious post-graduate scholarship from the NCAA. His accomplishments and contributions as a scholar, an athlete and a member of the NMU and Marquette communities have been outstanding. He is most deserving of this award.”
Greg Earhart, CSCAA executive director, highlighted Northern Michigan’s team achievements noting, “Coach Voigt demonstrates that a team can be successful in the pool and the classroom. These 63 men and women are some of the best ambassadors that Northern Michigan and the GLIAC could ask for.”
The NMU Women’s Cross Country team was named to the 2021 NCAA Division II Women’s Cross Country All-Academic Team as announced by the USTFCCCA. The women had a team GPA of 3.58. Madison Malon, Elise Longley and Anni Skillicorn also earned individual recognition, being named 2021 NCAA Division II Women’s Cross Country All-Academic Athletes for their accomplishments in both the classroom and on the course. To qualify for the individual award, student-athletes are required to have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher and must have finished among the top 30 percent at their respective regional meet and/or the top half of the NCAA Championship field.
The GLIAC recognized 65 athletes in fall 2021 for the All-Academic and Academic Excellence teams. Women’s and Men’s Soccer, Football, Volleyball and Cross Country had 43 selected to the Academic Excellence Team and 22 selected to the All-Academic Team.
Winter athletes were also recognized by the GLIAC. 77 Wildcats from Women’s and Men’s Basketball, Women’s Indoor Track and Field, Women’s and Men’s Swim and Dive, and Women’s and Men’s Nordic Ski were acknowledged. 51 ’Cats were selected to the Academic Excellence Team while 26 snagged spots on the All-Academic Team.
The USCSA recognized the Women’s and Men’s Alpine Ski Teams’ eff orts in the classroom as well. Reagan Olli and Garrett Lundteigen were awarded First-Team Scholar All-America Honors. Mitch Makela, Colin Dehart, and Ainsley Kirk earned Second-Team Scholar All-America recognition. Brynn Rowell and Abby Schierholz earned Honorable Mention All-America.
Coach Lundteigen said, “I am very proud of all the athletes and appreciate their eff orts.”
The Men’s Hockey team also had another strong year in the classroom with a cumulative team GPA of 3.51. Half of the team’s student-athletes earned spots on the NMU Dean’s List.
In addition, fourteen members of the Women’s and Men’s Nordic Ski teams were named to the National Collegiate All-Academic Ski Team. To make the team, skiers must have a 3.5 cumulative grade point average, matching the highest GPA requirement of any coaches association academic team nationally, and skiers must participate in one of the three regional championships.
Northern Michigan University also honors high achieving student-athletes with Scholar-Athlete Awards. Student-athletes are nominated by NMU faculty members and chosen by the Athletic Council. One male and one female are selected monthly throughout the academic year.
“This year, the Athletic Council honored 16 student-athletes from 13 different teams,” said NMU Director of Athletics Forrest Karr. “We greatly appreciate the numerous faculty members who consistently go above and beyond each year to nominate and help us recognize these talented, hard-working individuals. This continued support from Northern’s exceptional faculty is one of the many reasons that NMU is such a special place for students!”