NIU more than doubled its regional qualifier total from last season.
Former American Olympian Connie Teaberry enters her 12th season as head coach of the Northern Illinois University track & field program in 2015-16, which will also mark her fifth season as the Huskies' director of track & field. During Teaberry's tenure as the head coach of the NIU track & field program, the Huskies have broken 77 school records, won 14 MAC titles, qualified 27 for NCAA regionals and sent two individuals to the NCAA Championships.
Teaberry and the Huskies are coming off a 2014-15 season that indisputably marked the best in the history of NIU women’s track and field.
The program recorded its best ever finishes at the MAC Championships meets, earning fourth place at both the indoor and outdoor conference competitions. NIU also more than doubled its all-time MAC gold medal winners list, as Huskies won three golds at the indoor MAC meet and five first-place honors at the MAC outdoor event in 2015, taking NIU’s all-time total from six to 14 in the span of one year. As the NIU women’s track & field program continued its upward rise to the top of the MAC in 2015, the Huskies also qualified for the NCAA West Regional competition in nine events, saw senior multi-event specialist Latesha Bigby win the heptathlon at the prestigious Penn Relays and swept the much-anticipated 4x100 and 4x400 relay races at the MAC outdoor meet at Ball State on May 16, 2015.
The 2013-14 campaign was also historic one for Teaberry's program. Freshman Claudette Day became the second Huskie ever to advance to the NCAA Championships, where she finished 21st in the high jump. To add to a season of success, a total of 14 indoor and outdoor school records fell, and NIU sent four student-athletes - Day, Meghan Heuer, Ali Olson and Sidra Sherril - to the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The Huskie track & field team previously 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.
The NIU track & field record book is stuffed with student-athletes who have competed under Teaberry's guidance. With 77 school records either set or re-set by her athletes, incredibly just one record remains from before Teaberry's tenure.
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 numerous 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 NIU 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 participated 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 the 1996 Summer Games 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 the spring of 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, 18, and Kollan, 14.