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Huskies track, field return to action Saturday

January 5, 2012

Huskies track and fieldThe Northern Illinois track & field team rings in 2012 Saturday, Jan. 7, with a trip to the Sunflower State, where it will compete in the Bill Easton Classic in Lawrence, Kan.

The meet gets under way inside the Anschutz Pavilion at 1 p.m. with the women’s weight throw, men’s long jump and women’s pole vault. Running events begin at 3 p.m. with the 3000m run.

The Huskies will be joined by several other schools at the meet, including the host Jayhawks, Missouri State and UMKC.

“The staff is really looking forward to seeing the athletes’ capabilities after being off for three weeks,” said Huskie head coach Connie Teaberry. “A lot of athletes did not have places to train or weren’t able to do the workouts we wanted them to, but what we do want to see is tough competition from the athletes and leaving it all on the track.”

NIU enters the meet after nearly a month break from competition for the holidays. Last time out, the Huskies won three event titles and broke two schools records Dec. 9 at the Cyclone Holiday Preview in Ames, Iowa.

Highlighting those performances was Janay Mitchell, who helped Northern dominate the 60m dash by winning the event and leading the charge of four Huskies in the top seven. Prior to that, Mitchell broke the NIU record in the event with a time of 7.57 in the prelims.

The team, though, will likely get a stiff challenge from Kansas, a team that won 11 events in their season opener last month. The Jayhawks are led on the track by junior Francine Simpson, who was responsible for winning the 60m dash and the long jump at KU’s opener.

Saturday’s meet will also serve as a homecoming of sorts for Teaberry, who competed collegiately at rival Kansas State and still holds the Anschutz Pavilion’s record in the women’s high jump.

“KU was our rival school, so it would be nice if we could go there and do some damage in the events we’re in,” Teaberry said. “That would make me really happy.”

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