NIU’s Natalie Tarter broke the school record in the heptathlon, Sidra Sherrill matched her career best in the shot put and two Huskies advanced to Saturday’s finals, highlighting Northern Illinois’ day at the Mid-American Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships Friday.
Northern Illinois finished the day with two points as Tarter (Batavia, Ill./Batavia HS) took eighth place in the heptathlon with 4,473 points and Sherrill (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop HS) matched her personal best with a throw of 47-11.75 to finish eighth in the shot put.
Michaela Dwyer (Arlington Heights, Ill./John Hersey HS) also surpassed the Huskies’ previous heptathlon record with a PR of 4,379 in the heptathlon to finish ninth.
Senior Janay Mitchell (Teaneck, N.J./Teaneck HS) will run in the finals of both the 100 and 200 meter dashes Saturday. She ran a season best 11.72 in the 100 to qualify fourth, and got the final spot in the 200 finals with a season best 23.34 time. Sophomore Jamie Burr (Onalaska, Wis./Onalaska HS) posted a PR in the 800 meters to advance to Saturday’s finals in the number seven spot with a time of 2:11.44.
NIU head coach Connie Teaberry said there were highs and lows for the Huskies Friday.
“It was an up-and-down day of competition,” Teaberry said. “Natalie and Michaela finished strong in the heptathlon, resulting in a new school record and a point on the board, as well as a PR for Michaela. Sidra Sherrill tied her PR in the shot and finished strong to place another point on the board for the team. Jamie Burr and Janay Mitchell will both move on to the finals in the 800, 100 and 200 respectively. Both ladies showed great execution.”
In addition to the qualifiers, senior Jenelle McCalla (Whitby, Ontario, Canada/Father Leo J. Austin) in the 200 meters and junior Brittany Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio/WIthrow University HS) in the 100 ran their season-best times while falling short of the finals. McCalla had a time of 1:03.12 while Smith ran a 12.10. Senior Megan Gregory (Chicago, Ill./Plainfield North HS) was not able to finish in the 100 hurdles after hitting a hurdle and spraining her ankle.
“It was nice to see season-best performances from Brittany Smith and Jenelle McCalla,” Teaberry said. “Unfortunately, senior Megan Gregory concluded her regular season today with a sprained ankle. We are hopeful that she will advance to the NCAA West First Round in two weeks.”
Through eight events, Kent State leads the team standings with 74 points, followed by Buffalo (53.5) and Akron (50) with a large lead over fourth-place Miami (27), Toledo (25), Eastern Michigan (24.5) and Central Michigan (23). Bowling Green and Western Michigan (12 points) are tied for eighth and Ohio has nine points.
In addition to Mitchell and Burr, Sherrill (discus), Tarter (high jump), Juliane Totzke (5,000 meters) and NIU’s 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relay teams will be in action Saturday.