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Track and field set for NCAA West Preliminary

May 27, 2011
Chanel Kellyman

Chanel Kellyman

The Northern Illinois women’s 4×100-meter relay team and thrower Cora Caulfield will open competition Saturday at the NCAA West Preliminary Round at the University of Oregon.

Caulfield will compete in the discus at 10 a.m. PT and the relay team will take to the track at 1 p.m. PT.

“The 4×100 team and Cora are very excited about being in Eugene,” said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. “We had the chance to practice at the historic Hayward Field complex the other day and everyone is looking forward to getting underway tomorrow.”

Caulfield reached the NCAA Preliminary Round with a school record-setting throw of 166-01 (50.63m) at the Mid-American Conference Championships, finishing fourth. She has won three discus competitions this spring, taking the top spot at the Viking Olympics, the Point Loma Invitational and the Huskie Open.

Entering this weekend as the 28th of 48 competitors, Caulfield will compete in the second of three flights in the discus. The top 16 after the first round of three throws will advance to the finals for three more attempts. Following that second round of throws the top 12 finishers will advance to the NCAA Championships.

“Cora has put in so much time and effort during her career at Northern Illinois and it is great to see that pay off with a trip to NCAAs during her senior year,” said Teaberry.

The 4×100-meter relay team of Chanel Kellyman, Roneisha Frye, Brittany Smith, Rasheta Butler and alternate Megan Gregory heads into the NCAA Preliminary Round with the 22nd-fastest time among the competing schools. The Huskies come in with confidence soaring after winning the MAC championship with a school-record time of 45.64 seconds two weeks ago.

NIU has been drawn into the first of three heats in the 4×100-meter relay along with Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, California, Illinois, Texas and Washington State. The top-three finishers in each heat as well as the next three fastest qualifiers will advance to the NCAA Championships.

“Having that group of Chanel, Roneisha, Brittany, Rasheta and Megan gives us great confidence that we have five strong ladies who are capable of advancing to the next round,” said Teaberry. “They have been working extremely hard and their handoffs are looking good right now, so I know they are ready to compete tomorrow.”

If any of the Huskies advance through the NCAA Preliminary Round, the NCAA Championships will take place from Wednesday, June 8, through Saturday, June 11, at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

For more information on NIU track and field and Huskie athletics, visit