The Northern Illinois 4×100 relay of Chanel Kellyman, Janay Mitchell, Roneisha Frye and Rasheta Butler posted a solid performance Saturday at the NCAA West Preliminary Round, but fell one spot shy of moving on to the NCAA Championships.
The quartet crossed the finish line in fourth place in the third heat and 13th overall with a time of 45.33 – a mark that stands as the second-fastest clip this season. However, their time fell four-tenths of a second short of advancing to Des Moines, Iowa, as Washington State took the final spot in the top 12 at 44.92.
“The 4×100 (relay) ladies came up just short of qualifying for the final NCAA round,” said Huskie head coach Connie Teaberry. “This is a challenging meet and the ladies did an excellent job of staying focused, but we just missed in our events because of execution. They gave great efforts and I’m proud of all their and the rest of our accomplishments this season.”
Despite coming in as the 19th-seeded relay in the field and running in arguably the toughest heat, the Huskies exceeded expectations by beating national powers Arizona, Baylor and UTEP in the third heat.
Texas A&M – who ran the nation’s fastest 4×100 relay time heading into the meet – won the heat with a time of 43.34, while USC and Arkansas took the other automatic bids with second and third place finishes, respectively.
Though no Huskies will run at the NCAA Championships, the 2012 outdoor season was a highly successful one to say the least. The team set 13 school records during the campaign and scored the most points at the MAC Outdoor Championships in program history en route to grabbing four entries at the NCAA prelims – also a program-high.