The Northern Illinois track and field squad continued a stellar 2011 indoor season Saturday as the Huskies broke two school records and recorded five first-place titles at the IWU Invitational hosted by Indiana Wesleyan in Marion, Ind.
“Our ladies showed a lot of heart today,” said NIU head track and field coach Connie Teaberry. “The meet was a great confidence builder; it allowed us to see the changes and improvements we must make in the rest of our season. It was a great competition for us and we look forward to competing in the next couple of weeks. We will take a week off from competition as we prepare for Iowa State.”
In a record-breaking performance, Chanel Kellyman, Rebecca Cronin, Brittany Smith and Rasheta Butler combined forces to set a new NIU school record in the 4×200-meter relay. The Huskies first-place time of 1:43.42 also set an IWU Invitational meet record and the IWU Indoor Sports Complex record. The previous school record was set in 2006 with a time of 1:49.15.
In the Huskies second school record of the afternoon, Rebecca Cronin, Nora Ferguson, Sunsea Shaw and Courtney Oldenburg teamed up to shatter the NIU 4×800-meter relay record. The Huskie quartet finished the race in a time of 9:44.70, besting the 32-year old school record (11:28.60) which was set in 1979 by nearly two minutes.
Oldenburg saw her second first-place finish of the afternoon in the 1-mile run when she crossed the finish line in a time of 5:14.73. Ferguson joined Oldenburg in the 1-mile race where she ran a personal-best time of 5:39.66 to finish ninth in the event.
Sprinters Janay Mitchell and Rasheta Butler also earned first-place marks for Northern Illinois, when Mitchell claimed the title in the 60-meter dash and Butler placed first in the 200-meter dash. Mitchell sprinted to a first-place time of 7.75 in the 60-meter dash, while Butler clocked in with a time of 25.51 in the 200-meter dash.
Alongside the first-place performances from the Huskies, NIU saw 18 athletes finish among the top-five performers in their respective events.
Northern Illinois will take a break from competition next weekend as the Huskies prepare for the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa which will take place Feb. 11-12.