The Northern Illinois track and field team wraps up its regular season this weekend with the 103rd annual Drake Relays and the UW-Whitewater Alternative Meet.
Competition at the Drake Relays begins Thursday morning and runs through Saturday night in Des Moines, Iowa, while the action in Whitewater, Wis., will run Saturday only.
“The team and staff are excited about heading to the Drake Relays,” said Huskie head coach Connie Teaberry.
“The athletes always seem to have great performance at this competition. The fans’ support of the athletes is not biased, which helps the competitors rise to the occasion. We had more athletes qualify for entry into Drake than in the past and the staff is looking forward to seeing the ladies reach their full potential.”
The Huskies have 11 entries for the Drake Relays, the second-oldest track meet in the country behind only the Penn Relays.
Janay Mitchell and Rasheta Butler will compete in the 100 meters, while Roneisha Frye and Megan Gregory represent NIU in the 100 hurdles. In addition, Northern will compete in the 4×100, 4×200, 4×400, 4×1600, sprint medley and distance medley relays.
Rounding out the NIU contingent in Iowa is Jenner Sio, who will take part in the triple jump.
Meanwhile, several other members of the team will head north for the UW-Whitewater Alternative Meet.
The meet gets under way at 11 a.m. with the discus and pole vault, while running events start at 11:30 a.m. with the 4×100 relay.
“We have several ladies competing at UW-Whitewater,” Teaberry said. “Their preparation this week was geared for them to have peak performances. These athletes are hungry for success and ready to produce some great efforts.”
The two meets will serve as the final opportunity for several Huskies to improve their marks before the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championships, which take place Thursday, May 10, through Saturday, May 12, at Central Michigan University. Currently, 10 different NIU athletes and two relay teams rank in the top 10 in the conference at their respective events.
On top of that, the team will be looking to increase the number of possible NCAA West Preliminary Round qualifiers. Heading into the weekend, Frye and Rebecca Cronin would qualify in the 100 hurdles and 800 meters, respectively, while several others remain within striking distance of moving in to the top 48 in the region.
For more information on NIU track and field and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.