Huskies unveil 2011-12 track, field schedule

Huskies track and fieldDirector of Track & Field and Cross Country Connie Teaberry released the 2011-12 track & field schedule Thursday.

The slate, which features eight regular season meets for both indoor and outdoor competition, will take the team to 11 different states and includes the annual NIU Open on Saturday, April 14.

“We really formulate the schedule on the needs of the student-athletes,” Teaberry said. “I believe our schedule for the year is very competitive.”

The Huskies kick off their indoor season on Friday, Dec. 9, with a trip into central Iowa for the Iowa State Holiday Preview. After Christmas break, the team returns to action on Jan. 7, with the Bill Easton Classic in Lawrence, Kan.

The team will then compete in two straight meets hosted by the University of Illinois, starting with the Illini Open on Jan. 14. NIU returns to the UI Armory the next weekend for the Illini Classic on Jan. 20-21. The team will then close out the January portion of their schedule with Northern Iowa’s Jack Jennett Invitational on the final Friday and Saturday of the month.

Following a weekend off in early February, the team returns to Ames, Iowa, on Feb. 10-11 for the Iowa State Classic. After a trip to rival Ball State on Feb. 17, the squad will head to Akron, Ohio, for the 2012 Mid-American Conference Indoor Championship on Feb. 24-25.

The team closes out the indoor schedule in early March with Notre Dame’s Alex Wilson Invitational (March 2-3) and the NCAA Indoor National Championship in Nampa, Idaho (March 9-10).

The outdoor season gets under way for NIU on March 16 and 17, where the team will compete in sunny Orlando, Fla., at either the Walt Disney World Invitational or the UCF Black & Gold Challenge. Keeping with the warm weather theme, the Huskies return to the South to close out March for the 85th annual Texas Relays to compete against the nation’s elite programs.

Huskies track & fieldWith six meets, April will be the busiest month of the season for NIU.

The hectic month begins on April 6-7, when the Huskies return to the Chicagoland Intercollegiate Championships after a three-year hiatus to compete against DePaul, UIC, Loyola and other Chicago-area schools. NIU previously won the meet in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

“That’s the meet we used to look at, before we had a track, as our home meet,” Teaberry said. “We’re very excited that, beside our home meet, it gives fans, family and the community the opportunity to see us run twice instead of those meets that are farther away.”

On April 14, NIU will play host to several teams from across the Midwest when they host the fourth annual Huskie Open at the NIU Track & Field Complex. The Huskies won nine events in last year’s edition.

The last two weekends of the month will be the busiest for the squad, as they will send athletes to two different meets in consecutive weekends. On April 18-21, the Huskies will be competing in two prestigious meets – the Kansas Relays and the Mt. SAC Relays – pending qualification. The next weekend, the team will send their top athletes to the Drake Relays, while the rest of the team heads north for the UW-Whitewater Alternative Meet.

“As of right now, we have a great chance with the ladies that we have on the team with getting into the Texas Relays, the Kansas Relays (and) the Drake Relays,” Teaberry said. “We figure we’ll have a full team whereas we haven’t had that before because the talent level has increased.”

The team begins their outdoor postseason on May 10-12 at Central Michigan for the 2012 MAC Outdoor Championships. The Huskies, who hosted last year’s conference championship, set team records for most points in a MAC title meet with 47, en route to an eighth place finish.

The team wraps up their season with NCAA competition at Texas for the NCAA West Preliminary on May 24-26 and in Des Moines, Iowa, for the NCAA Outdoor National Championships on June 6-9.

For more information on NIU track & field and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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