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June 10, 2009

Huskie Happenings


NIUHuskies.com, the official online home for Northern Illinois Athletics, is pleased to announce the launch of a new blog, "Huskie Happenings." The section includes links to a daily newsstand, online chats, feature stories and interviews, game-day and multimedia information, promotions, calendars and much more. We hope this will become your first and last stop everyday for all the information you crave about Huskie Athletics!

TRACK RUNS THROUGH LANDMARK YEAR

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Today we conclude our look back at the 2008-09 athletics year with a review of the track & field season.2009 saw one of the biggest steps in program history, as the Huskies opened the NIU Track & Field and Soccer Complex with the first meet held on the Northern Illinois campus in 27 years.

But the Huskies weren't satisfied with just passing a milestone. The Northern Illinois track & field team attacked the Huskie record book, breaking or tying six of the best marks in school history.

Among the records were two relays, as Rochelle Muskeyvalley, Shoshanna Brown, Brittany Houghton and Rasheta Butler clocked a new 4x200-meter record at the Drake Relays, and Roneisha Frye teamed with Butler, Houghton and Muskeyvalley to set a new 4x100 record at the MAC Outdoor Championships. Houghton also added her named to the record book when she set a new Huskie best in the triple jump at MAC Indoor Championships. Jennene Anthony brought balance to the field by adding a record in the javelin at the first outdoor meet of the year.

Brown, a senior, tied the NIU triple jump record at the Mike Poehlein Invite, and later broke the record at Drake Relays. Unfortunately for the senior, the Drake mark was recalled due to inconsistencies in the measurement system, so she now shares the record with Houghton.

The Huskies stood out on the track, and matched the performance in the classroom. Meghan Ginter earned ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District accolades, in addition to MAC All-Academic First Team honors. Muskeyvalley, and 4.0 student Kaylee Walters were also placed on the MAC First Team, and Anthony garnered honorable mention team status.

Walters isn't taking a break from representing the Huskies over the summer. Instead, she's in Saint Louis, Senegal volunteering with underprivileged children. You can read her summer blog for NIUHuskies.com here.

MAC COMES TO HOOPS DECISION

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There can be only eight!

The MAC announced some changes to its men's and women's basketball tournaments, late yesterday afternoon. For the 2010 and 2011 seasons, all 12 teams will still make the tournament, but opening rounds games (the 12-5, 11-6, 10-7 and 9-8 match-ups) will be played at the site of the higher seed. The winners of those opening round games, plus the top four seeds, will play in Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena. The format is the same for both the men's and women's tournaments. There were some other changes as well, involving bowl games, media guides, etc. You can check out the complete release for details.

HOOD EYES THE NEXT LEVEL

As the DeKalb Daily Chronicle's John Sahly writes, with the Major League Baseball Draft starting today and running through Thursday, Jordin Hood unquestionably has the talent to be selected at some point in the draft. The question is, when?

SPEAKING OF BASEBALL ...

Brian Smith put up dazzling numbers as a freshman pitcher for Northern Illinois in 2005. He had six wins, three complete games and an ERA of 2.85.   The next season, his ERA jumped to 6.03 and he needed surgery to remove bone spurs from his right elbow.

He hasn't thrown a pitch for the Huskies since 2006, but after getting another year of eligibility, Smith will be back next season

ACADEMIC AWARDS CONTINUE

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Will "4.0" McDermott helped the Huskies to the 11th-best GPA in the country.

The Huskie wrestling team was named one of the top-30 programs in the nation academically for the fourth straight season. NIU posted a 3.07 GPA among wrestlers under the selection criteria to place 11th nationally. Last year, the Huskies came in at 10th, and the two years prior they finished 16th.

SPRINTING IN SENEGAL

Huskie trackster Kaylee Walters is spending her summer in Saint Louis, Senegal volunteering with underprivileged children and helping a local track & field program. While there, she's blogging for NIUHuskies.com with "Sprinting in Senegal." Here's a snippet from her first blog:

"Every day at 7:30 I walk 30 minutes to my work at a school for underprivileged children (age 3-7) whose parents can't afford to send them to a proper school. I paint with the children and keep them entertained by singing and teaching them French. At one, I return home through the sandy and packed streets to eat the most important meal of the day here--lunch. This meal is almost always grilled whole fish (scales, head, and bones) and rice or cous cous with an oily onion sauce. It is then followed with either bissap, which is a juice made from the root of the hibiscus, or a ginger drink, made from ginger root."

There's also this photo gallery, which will be updated whenever she sends photos.

ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS

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Where will the Huskies' win over No. 2 SMU rank on the list?

Coming soon to Huskie Happenings, we're going to count down the greatest moments of the 2008-09 season, and we need YOUR HELP! Whether it's a standout touchdown grab, amazing upset victory, or first-class finish at the basket, we need your nominations for the best moment of this last season. Send your best of 2008-09 to houghtaling@niu.edu. One lucky nominator will win a Huskie Prize Pack, so get your top moments in today!

 

Event Calendar
Men's Basketball
Wednesday, Nov 26 at Iowa
Women's Basketball
Wednesday, Nov 26 at Eastern Illinois
Football
Friday, Nov 28 at Western Michigan
Women's Basketball
Saturday, Nov 29 vs South Dakota St.
Wrestling
Saturday, Nov 29 vs West Virginia
Wrestling
Saturday, Nov 29 vs Binghamton
Wrestling
Saturday, Nov 29 vs Sacred Heart
Men's Basketball
Sunday, Nov 30 vs Maine
Women's Basketball
Sunday, Nov 30 vs Delaware State or UNLV
Men's Basketball
Tuesday, Dec 2 at DePaul
Football
Friday, Dec 5 vs MAC Championship Game
Wrestling
Friday, Dec 5 vs Michigan State
Women's Track
Friday, Dec 5 vs Notre Dame Meet
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