NIU’s track & field program unveiled its 2012-13 schedule Wednesday.
The slate features a combined 18 weekends between the indoor and outdoor seasons, in addition to two home meets at the NIU Track & Field Complex in late April.
Head coach Connie Teaberry said her staff is excited with the layout of the 2012-2013 schedule.
“With qualifying standards being implemented for the Mid-American Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championships, the staff searched for great track facilities hosting competitive meets,” Teaberry said.
“We want to ensure our team is prepared and are presented with the opportunities to have their best performances. Each season, our ladies have improved to new competitive heights, allowing us to see competitive and nationally-ranked opponents. This schedule is yet another level up, which will push our ladies to greatness.”
The Huskies open their schedule at Iowa State for the second straight year, as they will take part in the Cyclone Holiday Preview Friday, Dec. 7. After a month off for the holidays, the team will return to action Saturday, Jan. 12, with the Illini Open in Champaign, Ill.
The indoor schedule kicks into high gear the next weekend when NIU competes at Minnesota’s Jack Johnson Classic Jan. 18-19. Following that, the Huskies trek to the Hoosier State for the Indiana Relays inside the Gladstein Fieldhouse to close out January.
After getting a weekend off to begin February, the Huskies will take part in their first split-squad weekend of the year.
Half of the team will head to Grand Valley State for the GVSU Big Meet, which annually hosts some of the Midwest’s best programs. Meanwhile, the other half of the team will compete at the Chicagoland Indoor Championships in Naperville, Ill. The team closes out the indoor regular season the following Friday with the Ball State Quadrangular on Feb. 15 in Muncie, Ind.
The Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships will take place Feb. 22-23 in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Based on where they stand in the national performance lists, select Huskies will take part in Notre Dame’s Alex Wilson Invitational March 1-2 before the indoor season ends March 8-9 at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
The outdoor season will be sure to get off to a hot start when the team competes at Arizona State March 15-16 in the Baldy Castillo Invitational for their annual Spring Break trip. They will stay in the South two weeks later when the squads splits between the 86th annual Texas Relays and North Carolina State’s Raleigh Relays.
The April portion of the schedule starts much closer to home on April 5 with the Chicagoland Championships in Romeoville, Ill. The Huskies won last season’s Chicagoland meet in convincing fashion, and will enter this year looking to defend that title.
NIU travels to the foothills of the Smoky Mountains April 11-13, when they will compete at the Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tenn.
On April 20, the Huskies will host their first of two meets with the Huskie Open at the NIU Track & Field Complex. In addition, Northern’s distance runners will run at the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays that same weekend.
The schedule gets real busy in April’s final weekend when the team sends athletes to three different meets. The top Huskies will compete at either the Drake Relays or the Penn Relays – the nation’s two oldest collegiate track & field meets. Meanwhile, the rest of the team will stay in DeKalb for the NIU Alternative Meet on April 28.
The postseason gets under way with the MAC Outdoor Championships May 9-11 in Akron, Ohio. Following the conference meet, the NCAA West Preliminary Round will take place May 23-25 at Texas, while the national meet will take place in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8.
For more information on NIU track & field and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.