NIU freshman becomes second Huskie to compete at national meet
Connie Teaberry enters her 10th season as head coach of the Northern Illinois Huskie track & field program in 2013-14, which will also mark her third season as NIU's director of track & field. During Teaberry's tenure as the women's head track & field coach, the Huskies have broken 44 school records, and have won six MAC individual titles, qualified 15 for NCAA regionals and sent one individual to the NCAA Championships.
The Huskie track & field team reached new heights in 2012. For starters, the team broke 24 school records in the indoor and outdoor seasons. In addition, the team set program records for most points scored at the indoor (48) and outdoor (55.33) conference championships, placing seventh and eighth, respectively. On an individual level, NIU fielded four conference champions, as Chanel Kellyman (60 meters), Megan Gregory (60 hurdles), Janay Mitchell (100 meters) and the 4x100 relay team each reached the top of the podium. The Huskies also sent a record four entries - Mitchell in the 100 and 200 meters, Roneisha Frye in the 100 hurdles and the 4x100 relay - to the NCAA West Preliminary Round, with the 4x100 relay of Kellyman, Mitchell, Frye and Rasheta Butler coming four-tenths of a second short of advancing to nationals.
In 2011, the Huskies sent two entries - thrower Cora Caulfield and the 4x100m relay team of Chanel Kellyman, Roneisha Frye, Brittany Smith and Rasheta Butler - to the NCAA West Preliminaries in Eugene, Ore. Additionally, seven indoor and six outdoor records were broken during the 2010-11 season, while the team posted a program best for total points at the Mid-American Conference outdoor meet. Off the track, three student-athletes - Caulfield, Jenelle McCalla and Jenner Sio - were named to the Outdoor Track and Field Academic All-MAC Team.
During the 2010 season, NIU saw two Huskies qualify for NCAA West Region Preliminaries in Megan Gregory and Courtney Oldenburg. After setting and resetting the NIU 100-meter hurdle record five times throughout the regular season, Gregory qualified for the NCAA West Regional Preliminaries after boasting a second-place 100-meter hurdle time of 13.75 at the MAC Championships.
Under Teaberry's guidance, the Huskie reset the NIU record yet again when she raced to a career-best and school-record time of 13.70 to advance to the NCAA Preliminary second round action. Oldenburg joined Gregory at NCAA West Region Preliminaries, competing in the 1,500-meter race for the Huskies. Oldenburg advanced to the NCAA competition as a provisional qualifier in the 1,500 meters with a school-record time of 4:29.83 at the Drake Relays.
The NIU record book is stuffed with athletes who have competed under Teaberry. With 43 school records held by her athletes, only eight records remain from before Teaberry's tenure. In the 2010 indoor and outdoor seasons, the Huskies crushed the record books with their performances, claiming 14 spots on the Northern Illinois' lists. The Huskies saw three indoor records drop, as well as 11 outdoor records fall, including five record-setting efforts in relay events.
Teaberry's athletes set three school records during the 2010 indoor season, as Rhonda Lee and Megan Gregory added their name to the books. Lee shattered a 31-year old 55m dash mark at the Carthage Tadd Metzger Invitational before breaking another 31-year old record in the 6m dash just two weeks later at the Iowa State Classic. Gregory was also added to the record books when she set the 60m hurdles record at the Panther Open.
The success of the indoor season was carried over into the Huskies' outdoor season as six individuals and five relay teams set and re-set NIU records throughout the season. Joining the ranks of Northern Illinois' best Rasheta Butler, Oldenburg, Gregory, Jenelle McCalla, Jenner Sio and Cora Caulfield each set individual school records during the 2010 outdoor season. The Huskies also saw records in the 4x100m relay, 4x200m relay, 4x1500m relay, Distance Medley Relay, and the 1600m sprint relay.
Following Teaberry's leadership, the Huskies set seven new school records during the 2009 campaign. In the indoor season Teaberry current Huskie Patty Bautista break a school record in the pole vault. Teaberry led Bautista to her second school record of 2009 in the pole vault during the outdoor season. The Huskies' outdoor season proved to be just as successful as NIU set records in the 3,000-meter run, 4x200-meter relay, pole vault, triple jump and javelin throw.
The 43 school records held by Teaberry's athletes include multiple records set in 2008. During her fourth season, Teaberry helped Houghton break a 28-year old indoor long jump record and guided Coretta Evans as she took to the track to outrun her own outdoor 200m dash mark. The 2007 indoor and outdoor track seasons featured three NCAA Regional Qualifiers, six school records, and saw senior thrower Ashley Morrow advance to the NCAA Championships in Sacramento, Calif.
During the 2006 season, Teaberry guided the Huskies to first-place finishes in both the indoor and outdoor Chicagoland Championships meets. The 2006 season also saw Teaberry's charges reach unparalleled success as the Huskies set and re-set 30 school individual records and produced NIU's second MAC Champion ever in junior thrower Ashley Morrow. Three athletes advanced to the NCAA Regionals, where Morrow qualified for the NCAA Championships.
In Teaberry's inaugural season as the head coach of the women's track team, she coached Northern's first individual MAC Champion in over 25 years, and the first Huskie track & field athletes to earn All-MAC honors in Alicja Czajka and Lorene Skipper. Teaberry's Huskies dominated the field at the Chicagoland Championship on the way to a first-place finish.
Teaberry came to Northern Illinois after brief stints as an assistant women's track coach at Ohio University (2004), Arizona State University (1998-99), the University of Toledo (1995-98), and the University of Kentucky (1992-95). She displayed her ability to develop jumpers and sprinters in eight years as an assistant, as she developed eight NCAA qualifiers and two individual conference champions.
A St. Louis, Mo. native, Teaberry began her outstanding athletics career at Lutheran North High School where she won four varsity letters in both basketball and track (1984-88). At Kansas State, she developed into a world-class caliber high jumper and participate in the U.S.A./Mobil Track & Field Championships and World Championships (1993-95), two Olympic Trials (1992 & 1996), the Olympics (1996), and the World University Games (1993).
Her ascension in the world high jumping hierarchy began with three then-Big Eight Conference outdoor titles (1990-92). As a senior, Teaberry was selected the Most Valuable Female Athlete at the Big Eight indoor meet, the Kansas State Woman of the Year Award recipient, and then the NCAA Athlete of the Year.
At Kansas State, she was a six-time All-American in the high jump, placing at the NCAA indoors in 1990 and 1992, plus outdoors in 1989-92. Teaberry's 6-1.5 jump at the 1992 Big Eight meet remains the third-best outdoor high jump in school history. Ditto for her 6-2.25 effort indoors at the 1992 Big Eight Championships.
Teaberry finished second in the high jump at the 1996 Olympic Trials, ranking No. 2 nationally, and qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in Atlanta where she tied for 15th place. At the 1992 Olympic Trials, she placed 10th in the high jump.
She graduated from Kansas State with a Bachelor of Science degree in life science and pre-nursing and made the Academic Honor Roll in spring, 1992. Teaberry is married to DeMarcus Lindsey of Mobile, Ala., who serves as a sergeant with the NIU Police. The couple has two children, sons Kameron, 16, and Kollan, 12.