The Northern Illinois track & field team blasted the competition on a record-setting Saturday at the IWU Invitational.
The Huskies won 11 event titles on the day, including taking the top spot in every running event in which an NIU athlete competed. Northern also broke six meet, five track and two school records in the process.
“The ladies continue to impress me with their competitive effort,” said Huskie head coach Connie Teaberry. “Compared to last year, we doubled our first-place finishes, which shows improvement. We are definitely heading in the right direction.”
The Huskies took 10 of their 11 event titles on the track. Tops on the day were Janay Mitchell and the 4×200 relay team. Mitchell broke her own school record by recording a time of 7.55 in the 60 meters en route to a first place finish, along with a track and meet record. Not far behind Mitchell was Chanel Kellyman, who clocked in at 7.65 in the finals to take second place.
Yet, NIU was far from done in their assault on the record books. In the 200 meters, the Huskies took five of the top six places, with Mitchell leading the way with a track and meet record-setting time of 25.03. Behind the Teaneck, N.J., native was Kellyman in second (25.25), Butler in third (25.37), Frye in fourth (25.95) and Megan Gregory in sixth (26.01).
The 60 hurdles saw Gregory lead the NIU 1-2-3 finish with a time of 8.77 in the finals. Frye claimed second place with a 8.80 clip, while Jenelle McCalla was third at 9.21.
To wrap up the sprints, Butler won the 400 meters with a time of 58.09, setting the IWU Invitational record. Erica Miller finished in sixth place with a time of 1:01.60.
Rebecca Cronin returned to her winning ways in the 800 meters, toppling the meet and track record with a time of 2:16.65 to lead four Huskies in the top five. Following the junior was Jamie Burr in second at 2:20.59, Andreanna Rowe in third at 2:24.80 and Julianne Cronin in fifth at 2:28.53.
Claire McAuley and freshman Juliane Totzke paced the Huskies in the distance events on the day. McAuley captured the win in the mile with a personal-best 5:20.38 and Totzke – a native of Germany running on American soil competitively for the first time – dominated the 3000 meters with a 10:17.26 mark to break both meet and track records.
The other two relays – the 4×400 relay and 4×800 relay – were also winners for NIU. The 4×800 team of Rowe, Jessica Troike, Rebecca Cronin and Burr coasted to victory with a 9:49.67 clip, nearly breaking the NIU record in the process. The 4×400, though, was much closer. The foursome of McCalla, Miller, Lydia Mitchell and Julianne Cronin came from behind on the final lap to beat Ball State’s relay at the line by one-hundredth of a second with a time of 4:03.48.
In field events, Jenner Sio was the NIU star of the day winning the triple jump and placing third in the long jump to help the Huskie effort. Kelly Moser placed third in the high jump, while Sidra Sherrill and Taylor Jenkins took fourth place finishes in the shot put and pole vault, respectively.
The Huskies will get a week off before they return to the track, as they will compete in Ames, Iowa, at the prestigious Iowa State Classic Feb. 10-11.
For more information on NIU track and field and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.