The Northern Illinois track and field team opened the 2011 outdoor season with 12 event victories and two new school records on Saturday at the Point Loma Nazarene Invitational. Cora Caulfield set a new school-record in the discus and the NIU quartet in the 4×100-meter relay also set a new Huskie record.
“The ladies competed well today,” said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. “We wanted to use today’s meet as a good training session and we ended up with many great performances. The ability of our team to get off a plane and compete well the next day is a sign that we have reached the next level.
After missing the indoor season due to back surgery, Caulfield set a new NIU record in the discus throw in her first meet back in competition. Caulfield recorded a top throw of 159-8 to win the meet title, bettering her own school record of 156-2, set at last season’s MAC Championships.
The NIU 4×100-meter relay quartet of Janay Mitchell, Chanel Kellyman, Brittany Smith and Rasheta Butler was victorious in a school-record time of 46.69 seconds. Mitchell started the relay for the Huskies and Butler ran the anchor leg as Northern Illinois was nearly two seconds better than second-place Point Loma. The Huskie foursome bettered the previous school mark of 47.34 seconds set last season at the Texas Relays.
Mary Bull won both the shot put and hammer throw crowns with new personal-bests in both events. Bull’s best throw in the shot put measured 41-2 1/4, almost two feet ahead of second-place Agnes Faaleaoga of host-Point Loma Nazarene. Bull won by an even larger margin in the hammer throw competition, reaching 124-6 on her best throw of the meet, nearly 11 feet further than the rest of the field.
Courney Oldenburg was victorious in the 3,000-meter run, finishing in a time of 10:20.07, a collegiate personal-record. Oldenburg broke free from the pack to cross the line nearly five seconds ahead of Southwestern’s Aylin Mejia. Fifth-place Breanna Brevitt (10:39.91) and 10th-place Jackie Sciacero (11:51.88) set new personal bests while Claire McAuley took seventh with a new collegiate personal-record, 10:53.14.
In the 100-meter dash, Mitchell led a one-two sweep for NIU with a time of 12.21 seconds. Rhonda Lee claimed second-place in 12.30. Butler took the other sprint event for Northern Illinois, the 200-meter dash, in a winning time of 24.71 seconds.
The Huskies earned victories in both hurdle events at the meet. Roneisha Frye took first in the 100-meter hurdles in dominating fashion, crossing the line in a personal-best time of 14.24 seconds, over a half-second ahead of the field. In the 400 hurdles, Jenelle McCalla took the top spot for NIU with a time of 1:03.60.
Northern Illinois won two jumping events as Huskies won both the high jump and triple jump competitions. In the high jump, Kelly Moser cleared 5-3 3/4, to earn first-place, bettering the rest of the field by two inches. In the triple jump, Jenner Sio earned top honors with a top jump of 36-9 1/2, nearly seven inches ahead of the second-place finisher. Rochelle Muskeyvalley also set a PR in the long jump with a second-place finish of 17-11 1/2.
In the javelin, Amanda Schwab took first with a best effort of 114-0, over four feet better than the competition. Schwab’s mark was a new personal-best.
The Huskies return to action next Saturday, March 19, when they compete at the Aztec Invitational, hosted by San Diego State.
For more information on NIU track and field and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.