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Track, field heads to NCAA West prelims

May 22, 2012
Rasheta Butler

Rasheta Butler

The Northern Illinois track and field team opens up NCAA competition this week with the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas.

The meet runs from Thursday, May 24, through Saturday, May 26, at Texas’ Mike Myers Stadium.

The Huskies will be represented with a program-high four entries in the meet, as Janay Mitchell competes in the 100 meters and 200 meters, Roneisha Frye runs in the 100 hurdles and the quartet of Chanel Kellyman, Mitchell, Frye and Rasheta Butler take part in the 4×100 relay.

“Heading to the first round of the NCAAs is a great accomplishment for the athletes qualifying,” said Huskie head coach Connie Teaberry.

“If they continue to compete with confidence, executing every phase, they will have huge performances. We are proud to have the opportunity to compete at the NCAA Preliminary Round, but we are ready to accomplish more.”

Mitchell will start the meet off for NIU Thursday night at 6:55 p.m. with the 100 meters prelims. On Friday, Frye runs at 5:30 p.m. in the 100 hurdles prelims, while Mitchell will have the 100 meters final at 6:45 p.m. (contingent on Thursday’s result) and the 200 meters prelims at 8:25 p.m.

Things wrap up Saturday when the 4×100 relay team of Kellyman, Mitchell, Frye and Butler hit the track at 6:15 p.m., while the 100 hurdles and 200 meters final take place at 7:20 p.m. and 7:50 p.m., respectively.

NIU will be looking to build off their strong performance at the Mid-American Conference Championships, where they scored a program-best 53.33 points to finish in eighth place. Individually, Mitchell and the 4×100 relay took first team All-MAC honors with first place finishes in Mt. Pleasant, while Frye earned second team All-MAC recognition in the 100 hurdles.

This year marks the third-straight season and the seventh time in the last nine in which NIU has sent at least one athlete to the NCAA Preliminary Rounds. In addition, the four entries in this year’s prelim meet is the most the program has ever qualified since being reinstated in 2000. The previous high was three, which occurred in 2006 and 2007.

Northern will also be looking to get at least one Huskie to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2007, when Ashley Morrow made it in the shot put. In order for that to happen, Mitchell, Frye or the 4×100 relay team must finish among the top 12 in their respective events.

Live results will be available at

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