With the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships less than two weeks away, the Northern Illinois University track & field team continued to improve its position for the conference meet with several career- and season-best performances Saturday at Purdue and Grand Valley State.
In total, the Huskies posted 19 top-10 finishes between the two meets, along with setting 10 new personal records.
Huskies Excel at Fred Wilk Boilermaker Invitational
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — In a field that included Big Ten power Purdue and MAC rival Kent State, the Huskies held their own at the Fred Wilk Boilermaker Invitational.
Claudette Day (Belleville, Ill./Belleville West) and Latesha Bigby (Hanover, Jamaica/Butler CC) scored in three different events for NIU, while seven other Huskies also finished in the top eight of their respective events.
“We had another solid day of performances at Purdue,” said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. “We’re starting to see the athletes’ technique sharpen and them getting hungry for success.”
Day paced the Huskies in field events, placing second in the high jump with a career-best height of 5-06.00 (1.68m) and fourth in the long jump at 18.07.25 (5.67m). Additionally, she took eighth in the 60 hurdles, setting a new PR in the prelims at 8.81 before running 8.86 in the finals.
Felow mid-season addition Bigby tied for third in the high jump at 5-02.25 (1.58m), while running a career-low 8.70 in the 60 hurdles prelims before claiming seventh in the finals at 8.72. In the 200 meters, she placed seventh with a time of 57.95.
Back in the field events, thrower Tyra Bickham (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs) took fifth place in the shot put with a throw of 44-04.00 (13.51m). One spot behind her was Sidra Sherrill (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) with a sixth-place finish at 44-02.50 (13.47m).
Sisters Rebecca Cronin and Julianne Cronin (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) each earned top-five finishes in the 800 meters. Rebecca finished fourth with a time of 2:14.71, while Julianne took fifth at 2:15.24.
A’Iesha Irvin Muhammad (East St. Louis, Ill./St. Elizabeth Academy) claimed fifth place in the 60 meters, clocking in at 7.76 in the prelims before improving in the finals with a 7.72 clip.
The Huskies rounded out their scoring with a fourth-place showing in the 4×400 relay, as Bigby, Cronin, Tahtyana Peer and Cronin teamed up to run a time of 3:51.70.
Top Marks Continue at GVSU Big Meet
ALLENDALE, Mich. — A day removed from a record-setting Friday at Grand Valley State, the Huskies’ distance group kept that trend going in Saturday’s open portion of the meet.
Leading the way once again was Meghan Heuer (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North), who won the 800 meters with a time of 2:12.78. Meanwhile, sophomore Ali Olson (New Auburn, Wis.,/Bloomer) set a new personal record with a time of 2:14.33 to place fifth and Hannah Savage bested her career-low time with a 2:17.35 clip, claiming 21st.
“It was another strong day for our middle distance group,” said assistant coach Greg Hipp. “Meghan taking the win in the 800 meters was a great way to cap off the meet. We have some nice momentum heading into MAC.”
In other events at the meet, Taylor Vinhal (Dousman, Wis./Kettle-Moraine) made her NIU debut with a 5:28.19 run in the mile to finish in 25th place. In addition, Claire McAuley (Glasgow, Scotland/Glasgow School of Sport) finished 10th in the 3000 meters, crossing the finish line at 10:29.68.
The Huskies close out the indoor regular season Friday, Feb. 21, when they compete in the Ball State Quadrangular against conference foes Ball State, Miami (Ohio) and Western Michigan.
For more information on NIU track & field and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.