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Track, field athletes notch MAC auto marks

March 29, 2013
Megan Gregory

Megan Gregory

Senior Megan Gregory highlighted the Huskies’ second day at the Texas Relays Friday, as the hurdler earned an automatic berth into May’s Mid-American Conference Championships.

The Chicago native clocked in at 14.02 in the 100 hurdles prelims to place 36th overall. Within heat five, Gregory took third by easily getting past Louisiana Tech’s Bianca Jackson and UAB’s Autumn Burnett.

As a whole, though, NIU had plenty of difficulties in one of the nation’s most competitive meets.

“Megan had a good start and executed throughout the entire race,” said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. “The Texas Relays enabled us to see some technical items we need to fix in training. Once the weather improves, we can train outdoors and we will see additional times drop.”

In the day’s first event, Alicia Osley, Janay Mitchell, Brittany Smith and Gregory teamed up in the 4×100 relay and ran a time of 47.67. The quartet finished in fourth in heat four ahead of Lincoln (Mo.) and Kansas, while taking 35th overall.

Moments later, Mitchell and Smith competed in the 100 meters, where they ran times of 12.14 and 12.44, respectively. Mitchell claimed fifth in heat eight by sneaking past Sam Houston State’s Elizabeth Ene, along with a 64th place finish overall. Meanwhile, Smith was third in heat one and 80th overall.

Sidra Sherrill

Sidra Sherrill

Meanwhile, NIU redshirt sophomore Meghan Heuer punched her ticket to Akron Friday with a great 1500 meters performance at the Raleigh Relays.

Heuer clocked in at 4:31.79 to take third in Section III at North Carolina State. The time was just sixth-hundredths of a second better than Tennessee’s Amirah Johnson and 12-hundredths better than Michigan’s Megan Weschler. Heuer’s time also puts her atop the MAC performance list for the outdoor season.

“We had our share of ups and downs today, but everyone is competing tough, so I expect good things for this entire group soon,” said NIU assistant head coach Greg Hipp. “Meghan was again impressive in the 1500 meters and Claire (McAuley) was able to show promise with her 5K best.”

In the 5000 meters, Claire McAuley shaved nearly 10 seconds off her career-best with a time of 17:51.92 to take fourth in Section IV. Meanwhile, teammate Leah Raffety posted a time of 18:22.82 to take 20th.

Julianne Cronin also set a new PR by running 57.88 in the 400 meters, taking 49th overall. Ali Olson and Hannah Savage ran in a separate section of the 1500 meters and ran times of 4:47.19 and 4:54.84 to take 33rd and 60th, respectively.

Sophomore thrower Sidra Sherrill excelled in the shot put, taking sixth place with a distance of 45-03.75 (13.81m). Meanwhile, the Fort Wayne, Ind., native threw 131-02 (39.98m) in the discus, placing 24th.

The Huskies close out the weekend tomorrow morning with a pair of events at the Raleigh Relays. Ashley Lucas starts things with the 10,000 meters, while NIU finishes the meet with the 4×1500 relay.

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