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NIU

Schmelzle makes NIU history at NCAA championships

With her sixth-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Northern Illinois senior Hope Schmelzle became the highest finisher for the Huskies at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.

Schmelzle finished in 9 minutes, 55.49 seconds to claim sixth Saturday. She qualified on Thursday with a career-best 9:50.51, which would have put her in fifth Saturday.

Schmelzle finished more than 14 seconds behind champion Allie Orstander, a freshman from Boise State who won in 9:41.31. Schmelzle was less than three seconds away from fifth-place finisher Grayson Murphy, a junior from Utah who ran a 9:53.66.

The Huskies never had an All-America runner before. Their previous highest finisher was in 2014, when Claudette Day took 21st in the 100 hurdles.

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