After a long offseason, members of the Northern Illinois track and field team kicks off their 2011-12 season Friday, Dec. 9, in Ames, Iowa, where they will compete in the Cyclone Holiday Preview.
The Huskies will be one of 14 teams competing in the meet.
Among the teams in the field are Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Drake, Division II power Lincoln (Mo.) and NAIA contender Bacone College.
The action gets under way at 10 a.m. with the pentathlon, followed by field events at 2 p.m. and running at 4 p.m.
“The ladies have worked hard all fall,” said Huskie head coach Connie Teaberry. “Their mindset is ready for competition, so I expect them to go into this meet just as if we were in the regular season.”
“We’re ready to compete. I think we are going to have some great performances and great efforts.”
Friday’s meet with be the first opportunity for NIU to build off of their successful 2010-11 season, where the team broke 11 different school records during the course of the season. As a team, the Huskies posted the most points at the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championship meet in program history and their highest placing since 2005.
Northern returns several key performers from a season ago, including the NCAA West Preliminary Round-qualifying 4x100m relay team of Chanel Kellyman, Roneisha Frye, Brittany Smith and Rasheta Butler, along with alternate Megan Gregory.
“I do expect that momentum to carry over,” Teaberry said, regarding last season’s performances.
“As each season has success, I think the coaches expect more and the athletes expect more themselves. Whatever they reached the year before, they want to repeat that and do even more.”
The meet will be the first time in Teaberry’s tenure at NIU that the Huskies have not opened their season in the state of Illinois. The squad has opened their last two seasons at the Eastern Illinois Early Bird.
For more information on NIU track and field and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.