The Northern Illinois track and field team set itself up for a big finish at the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Championships Friday, as seven different Huskies advanced to the finals in their respective events.
Janay Mitchell and Chanel Kellyman moved on in both the 100 meters and 200 meters, while Roneisha Frye (100 hurdles), Rasheta Butler (200 meters), Erin Milner (400 hurdles), Rebecca Cronin (800 meters) and Courtney Oldenburg (1500 meters) will also take part in Saturday’s finals.
“We had some great performances today,” said Huskie head coach Connie Teaberry. “Every lady competing entered their events with confidence and conviction. Some of those efforts have led to positions in the finals. If the ladies continue competing as they did today, we will fare well tomorrow in the finals.”
Mitchell had arguably the biggest day among the NIU contingent with two blistering performances on the track.
The junior started with a school-record run of 11.61 in the 100 meters, breaking the previous mark by over one-tenth of a second and recording the fastest time in the prelims. Just over two hours later, Mitchell ran a 24.02 clip in the 200 meters prelims to improve on her own NIU record and post the fourth-best mark in the prelims.
Meanwhile, Kellyman moved on to the 100 meters final with personal best time of 11.72 and the third-best prelims mark. The native of Toronto repeated that in the 200 meters with a career-low 24.09 clip to move on to Saturday.
Frye registered the third-fasted mark in the 100 hurdles, handily winning the first heat with a 13.84 clip. In the 400 hurdles, Milner advanced with a season-best 1:02.89 run.
Butler, the final Huskie sprint finalist, ran the sixth-quickest time in the 200 meters with a mark of 24.13.
In the distance events, both Cronin and Oldenburg easily advanced to Saturday’s finals. Cronin crossed the finish line at 2:10.78 in the 800 meters to post the fifth-fastest prelims mark, while Oldenburg placed seventh in the 1500 meters prelims behind a 4:32.67 performance.
Two Huskies – Kellyman and Sidra Sherrill – represented NIU in the field events. Sherrill nearly missed out on scoring team points for Northern in the shot put, placing ninth with a PR toss of 45-04.50 (13.83m). For Kellyman, she placed 14th in the long jump with a 17-05.50 (5.32m) leap.
NIU wraps up their weekend at Central Michigan at 10 a.m. Saturday with track finals, in addition to the discus, triple jump and high jump.
For more information on NIU track and field and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.