The Northern Illinois University track and field team ended its time in Texas on a big note Saturday with several impressive performances at the Bobcat Invitational.
Capping a whirlwind weekend with three meets in three days, the Huskies earned second-place finishes from Latesha Bigby (Hanover, Jamaica/Butler CC), Rebecca Cronin (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) and the 4×400 relay team.
“We had another solid day at Texas State,” said NIU head coach Connie Teaberry. “Latesha Bigby yet again lowered her automatic MAC Championship-qualifying time in the 100 hurdles, this time running under 14 (seconds). Rebecca Cronin and Claudette Day just missed auto qualifying marks, while out 4×400 relay showed heart with Latesha, Rebecca, Tahtyana (Peer) and Julie (Cronin).”
“This weekend, we asked a lot of out ladies and one was to get used to 80-degree weather from 25-degree weather overnight. The other was to compete. We started rocky in some places, but ended with some great performances.”
Bigby put herself near the top of the Mid-American Conference’s performance list in the 100 hurdles. The junior ran 13.75 to place second and top her personal record by over a quarter of a second. Behind her in the final standings were Day and Logan Tillmon, who ran 14.65 and 15.36, respectively.
Cronin got her runner-up finish in the 800 meters, clocking in at 2:12.13 to come within seven-hundredths of a second from clinching a spot in the MAC Championships. Meanwhile, her sister Julianne Cronin (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) took 19th at 2:19.91.
The Huskies’ third silver came courtesy of the 4×400 relay team of Bigby, Rebecca Cronin, Tahtyana Peer (Milwaukee, Wis./King) and Julianne Cronin, who combined to run 3:46.26. Not only was their time good for second, but it also came within five-hundredths of a second from the school record.
Earlier in the day, the Huskies’ 4×100 relay team of Brittany Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio/Withrow University), Bigby, Peer and A’Iesha Irvin-Muhammad (East St. Louis, Ill./St. Elizabeth Academy) ran 46.93 to finish in third place.
In field events, Day led the way with a sixth-place finish in the long jump, leaping 18-08.00 (5.71m). Additionally, Sidra Sherrill (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) tossed 45-01.00 (13.74m) in the shot put to claim seventh place.
The Huskies return to action next weekend, as the distance group will compete Saturday, April 5, at the EIU Big Blue Classic in Charleston, Ill. For more information on NIU track and field and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.