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Track & Field:
Northern Illinois capped its regular season off on a high note over the weekend at the Drake Relays and UW-Whitewater Alternative Meet. In Des Moines, the Huskies posted two top-five finishes, including a third-place finish in the 4x100 relay, and broke five school records. At UW-Whitewater, NIU brought home six event titles, while seven different athletes set new personal records.
Women's Golf: NIU concluded its
2011-12 season with an eighth-place finish at the 2012 Mid-American
Conference Women's Golf Championships at Hawthorns Golf & Country
Club in Fishers, Ind. Sunday. Senior Kelsie Passolt finished her NIU career on high note, turning
in her lowest score of the season for a three-round event carding a 223
(78-80-75) to tie for eighth place, a career-best finish at the MAC
Men's Tennis: With a 3-2 lead late in the contest, the Huskies fell to Western Michigan in the Mid-American Conference Tournament
semifinals, 4-3. The Huskies end their impressive 2012 season 21-7.
Women's Tennis: Northern Illinois dropped its quarterfinal
matchup of the Mid-American Conference Tournament against the No.
2-seeded Akron Zips (22-3, 7-1 MAC) on Friday, 4-0. The loss marked the
end of the Huskies' season as the team finished with an 11-12 overall
record and a 2-6 mark in MAC play.
Three NIU teams will compete in the last week before final exams. Men's golf hosts the MAC Championships at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., starting Friday. Meanwhile, baseball takes on Northwestern at Elfstrom Stadium in Geneva, Ill., and travels to UIC before hosting Central Michigan in a three-game weekend series, while softball caps off their regular season with games at Notre Dame and Western Michigan.
Football: Quarterback Jordan Lynch
showed that he plans a seamless transition into the starting role as he
threw for 402 yards on 29-of-44 passing with four touchdowns Saturday
at Huskie Stadium in Northern Illinois' Red-White Spring Football Game.
Lynch led the Red team, composed of the Huskie starting units on
offense and defense, to a 31-6 victory over the White team in the final
spring football practice of 2012.
Baseball: Despite strong pitching, the Huskies were swept at home over the weekend by the Toledo Rockets. The series opened with a 7-3 win by UT despite the Huskies holding the lead through seven innings. The Huskie offense struggled again on Saturday with a 5-1 loss, then dropped the finale in extras by a 4-3 margin.
Track & Field: The Huskies had a big week at two major meets during the weekend, breaking five school records between the Kansas Relays and Mt. SAC Relays. On Thursday, Courtney Oldenburg broke her own NIU mark in the 1500 meters with a 4:27.64 run, while Juliane Totzke toppled the 10,000 meters record with a 36:23.93 clip. Friday saw Chanel Kellyman set a new record in the 100 meters and Roneisha Frye (100 hurdles) and Rebecca Cronin (800 meters) added their names to the record books on Saturday.
Men's Golf: The Northern Illinois men's golf team wrapped up the regular season
portion of its schedule with a seventh-place finish at the Boilermaker
Invitational at the Kampen Course on the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex.
Freshman Thomas Dunne was the top-finishing Huskie, taking 13th with a final round 75.
The Huskies dropped their final two regular season games at home this weekend. NIU was swept by Akron, 7-0, on Saturday, then dropped their Senior Day showdown with Buffalo, 5-2. The squad finishes their regular season at 11-11 overall and 2-6 in the MAC.
Huskie teams will compete this week. Three programs (men's tennis, women's tennis and women's golf) will head to their respective MAC Championships, including women's tennis hosting the conference tournament in DeKalb. In addition, softball hosts their final home game of the year Wednesday against Northwestern and baseball welcomes Milwaukee on Tuesday.
On April 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson played in his first Major League Baseball game with the Brooklyn Dodgers, helping them defeat the Boston Braves, 5-3. Though he finished 0-for-3 at the plate, he scored one run and recorded a sacrifice hit in the team's win.
Just another ball game right? Wrong. Robinson took his first step towards changing the landscape of the United States by playing in the game, becoming the first African-American to play in the league and engraining himself in Civil Rights icon. That same season, Robinson aided Brooklyn to its first World Series Championship since 1920.
Fast forward to today, and the No. 42 is retired by every franchise in MLB, with only one player still wearing the jersey (Mariano Rivera wore the number before it was retired in 1997).
I was promptly reminded by myself that NIU baseball has a first person connection with Jackie Robinson, through his foundation of course, in senior third baseman Troy White, senior from Chicago and a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar. At the beginning of March, received the Nike Award for his work with Cit Cubs program, working alongside Theo Epstien, President of Baseball Operations with the Chicago Cubs.
All accolades aside, White was spectacular for the Huskies on Sunday as he finished the day 7-for-11 at the plate with six RBI, a home run, a double and three runs in NIU's doubleheader. It was an amazing thing to witness at McKie Field on the Miami campus. The Redhawks press box workers simply asked "What's he going to do next?" It was that impressive.
I guess it was meant to be though. Friday, Phil Hersh ran an article in The Chicago Tribune about White's journey to NIU and his off the diamond works and happenings. When I returned to DeKalb, there was a stack of newspapers and a magazine article with a picture of Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widowed wife, and a yellow Post-it note with the words "Troy White reference" and an arrow point out to where in the article.
I read the paragraph and smiled, closed the magazine with my finger saving the page and I saw a picture of Bubba Watson underneath the iconic words "Sports Illustrated" splashed on the front. White was referenced in the article as a success story of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Check it out and see for yourself.
Needless to say it was a pretty good weekend for NIU baseball. Not only did the program sweep Miami (Ohio) for the first time since the teams first met in 1968, there was also some good press, and that's a good.
My final contribution to the article, a shameless plug for the Northern Illinois Baseball Twitter feed...
For everything NIU baseball, follow on Twitter @NIU_Baseball or click the follow link below.
Track & Field:
The Northern Illinois track & field team closed out their weekend at
the Lee Calhoun Memorial Invitational on a high note, taking four event
titles Saturday in Macomb, Ill. Despite holding several of
their top performers out of the meet, the Huskies took third place in
the 13-team field with 126 points. Marquette won the meet with 202
points, while host Western Illinois was runner-up with 165.5 points.
Men's Golf: Junior Kurtis Luedtke recorded his best collegiate tournament finish,
tying for eighth, helping lead Northern Illinois to a
tie for fourth place at the COG Mizzou Intercollegiate. The Huskies
posted a final round score of 298 to finish the 54-hole event with a
total of 887, tied with IUPUI. Host Missouri won the team title
for the second consecutive season with a total score of 856, the Tigers'
Ryan Zech took individual medalist honors with an eight-under score of
The Huskies finished seventh at the Falcon
Invitational hosted by Bowling Green Friday and Saturday. Allie Parthie moved up seven spots after trimming two
strokes off her first round score of 80 to card a 158 and finish in
ninth. Senior Kelsie Passolt made the biggest jump, climbing 15
spots to 22nd after posting a second round 80 to finish with a 163.
Six Huskie teams are in action during the upcoming week. The big event in DeKalb this weekend in SpringFest, which takes place Saturday with the Spring Football Game, baseball playing Toledo and women's tennis battling Akron.
On one of the beautiful 80 degree days DeKalb had to offer in the month of March, I went outside to watch the team practice at Ralph McKinzie Field and was quickly approached by Head Coach Ed Mathey. As we talked about the happenings of NIU and baseball in general, senior third baseman Troy White took a stab at a hard hit ground ball and came up with the ball and flinged the ball back to home plate as he continued to take the ground balls at practice.
As Mathey and I just laughed at the amazing play that was made by White in front of our own eyes, Mathey said to me "Don't be surprised if that kid becomes a millionaire. Whatever he pursues, he's going to be successful at."
Following an interview Monday morning, I think Troy may have found a believer at The Chicago Tribune in columnist Phil Hersh. Hersh and White spoke on the phone for about 10 minutes and wrote a great piece on White's road to Northern Illinois.
In case you missed it on our YouTube page, here is a television feature released earlier this year on White's story.
Baseball: Northern Illinois came close to grabbing a win over the weekend, but Ohio emerged with a three-game sweep over the Huskies in DeKalb. The NIU bullpen lost control of the game Friday in a 13-2 Bobcat victory. The two schools were locked in a pitcher's dual on Saturday - including NIU's Jake Hermsen throwing 138 pitches and getting seven strikeouts. Yet, Ohio got timely hitting for a 3-1 win. The series concluded with a back-and-forth affair that saw both teams combine for 29 runs and 31 hits, but the Bobcats got the sweep in a 19-10 marathon.
Northern Illinois rebounded from a tough first week of April to grab thee conference wins over the weekend. NIU would split a Friday doubleheader with Eastern Michigan, dropping the first game, 2-0, before grabbing the second in a 4-0 win. Playing at Central Michigan on Saturday, the Huskies dominated the Chippewas in a 5-1 win. The next day, NIU got a go-ahead two-run home run from Dani Parrish in the top of the seventh for a 4-2 win against CMU.
Track & Field:
The Northern Illinois track & field team won the Chicagoland
Intercollegiate Championships Friday in Chicago behind six event titles
and several top five finishes. NIU scored 174 team points on the
blustery day to take first in the 18-team field, followed by DePaul in
second place with 136 and UIC in third with 85.
The Northern Illinois University women's golf team finished ninth at
the Marsh Landing Invitational hosted by the University of Cincinnati
Tuesday. The Huskies were unable to move up the leaderboard after shooting
a final round 332 for a total of 697. Stetson won the event, carding
an 894, with SU's Alex Buelow winning the individual championship
posting a 217.
Gymnastics: Northern Illinois gymnasts Kim Gotlund and Tanya Rachan had mixed results in representing the
Huskies in the 2012 NCAA Gymnastics Champaign Regional on Saturday at
the University of Illinois' Assembly Hall. Representing NIU with two competitors in the NCAAs for the first time
since 2009, Gotlund had one of her best all-around scores of the season
while Rachan slipped up for the first time all season in the floor
Northern Illinois stayed unbeaten in MAC action with a 6-1 win against Ball State. After dropping the doubles point, the Huskies rattled off six singles wins to defeat the 2011 MAC champions. On Sunday, NIU lost 4-3 to Marquette in Milwaukee, Wis.
Seven Huskie teams are in action during the upcoming week. Softball hosts DePaul Tuesday, Buffalo Friday and Kent State Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, baseball hosts Illinois State on Tuesday and men's tennis welcomes Toledo (Saturday) and Buffalo (Sunday) to Rockford.
Track & Field:
Northern Illinois broke three school records over the weekend with athletes competing at both the Texas Relays and the adidas Raleigh Relays. In Austin, Texas, the 4x400 relay team of Chanel Kellyman, Rebecca Cronin, Julianne Cronin and Rasheta Butler set the new NIU standard with a 3:46.21 run. In the sprint medley relay later that day, Kellyman, Janay Mitchell, Butler and Rebecca Cronin added their names into the record books at a 3:57.72 clip. Meanwhile, Juliane Totzke broke the 5000 meters record in North Carolina with a 16:57.17 run.
The Northern Illinois men's golf team concluded play at the Irish Creek
Collegiate on Sunday, closing the tournament with a 10th place finish.
Junior Kurtis Luedtke was the highest-finishing individual for NIU, tying for 26th with a 54-hole total of 217.
The Northern Illinois University women's golf team struggled in its
final round, but still finished in the top 10, placing seventh at the
18th Annual Saluki Invitational at Hickory Ridge Golf Course Monday. The Huskies shot a second round 325 to finish the tournament with
a 642. The host Salukis of Southern Illinois won the event with a 608.
SIU's Cassie Rushing took the individual championship with a 146.
Six Huskie teams will compete during the upcoming week. Among the events in DeKalb include baseball hosting Ohio for a three-game set, women's tennis welcoming Toledo and Eastern Michigan, and men's tennis hosting Ball State.