The Northern Illinois track & field team got their outdoor season off to a quick start in Saturday with two event titles and two school records at the UCF Black & Gold Challenge.
As a team, the Huskies combined for 15 top five finishes and nine personal records in the season-opening competition.
“We had several solid performances today,” said Huskie head coach Connie Teaberry. “Once again, the ladies competed with confidence. This is a good sign of performances to come in the future.”
Janay Mitchell arguably turned in the best performances of the day, having a hand in two school record-setting performances. In the 200 meters, Mitchell broke Coretta Evans’ five-year old NIU record with a run of 24.07, topping the old standard by a full tenth of a second, and a fourth place finish.
Mitchell also played an important part in the 4×100 relay team’s record run. Joined by Chanel Kellyman, Roneisha Frye and Rasheta Butler, the Huskie quartet topped the school record with a 44.80 clip to finish in third place. The previous mark was 45.64, set last season by Kellyman, Frye, Brittany Smith and Butler en route to a NCAA West Preliminary Round appearance.
The Teaneck, N.J. native also placed fifth in the 100 meters with a near school record performance of 11.84.
Northern dominated the 1500 meters by finishing 1-2-3. Junior Courtney Oldenburg led the way with a time of 4:32.70. Not far behind the West Salem, Wis. native was sophomore Juliane Totzke, who crossed the finish line at 4:37.10. Jamie Burr rounded out the trio with a 4:38.90 mark.
Frye brought in the other Huskie win, doing so in the 100 hurdles with a time of 13.85.
Three other Huskies also posted top five finishes on the track. Rebecca Cronin finished third in the 800 meters behind a 2:12.80 performance. Katie Janssen also posted a bronze finish with a personal best time of 19:19.11 in the 5000 meters. Jenelle McCalla finished fifth in the 400 hurdles courtesy of a 1:03.29 mark.
In field events, Sidra Sherril earned two top four finishes in throws. The freshman took second in the discus with a 142-04 toss and fourth in the shot put at 42-02.00.
The Huskies return to the track in two weeks, when they return to the south for the 85th annual Texas Relays in Austin, Texas. NIU will open competition in Austin Thursday, March 29.
For more information on NIU track and field and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.